Conference: commonest cause of combined deafness, blindness

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A conference about the most common cause of combined deafness and blindness is gearing up in New Orleans.

Organizers say the Usher Syndrome Coalition’s 7th Annual Family Conference will be held Saturday at the New Orleans Downtown Marriot.

It’s a chance for people affected by the genetic disorder and their families to meet others like themselves, to hear from researchers and to learn about causes, management and treatments.

Most children with Usher syndrome are born deaf; others develop hearing loss later. The loss of vision to retinitis pigmentosa can start in childhood but severe problems are more likely in adolescence or young adulthood.

It affects about 400,000 people worldwide and about 50,000 in the United States. Some groups, such as Louisiana’s Cajuns, have an unusually high prevalence of the disease.

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