Blind, deaf, dumb.
Sensory disorders used to provide labels to those afflicted. Fear of losing sight and hearing played a role, as the causes were largely unknown. Fortunately nowadays, we have an extensive knowledge of the gene defects and a growing knowledge of the susceptibilities than can lead to sensory disorders.
But there’s much more yet to learn, and it’s not easy research. Even a well-known disease like glaucoma robs sight through many different mechanisms and genetic pathways. And studying susceptibilities to conditions such as age-related hearing loss involves many genes interacting with the environment for a long time.
Research at The Jackson Laboratory is providing important insight into sensory disorders, seeking better ways to treat and even prevent sensory loss.