Funding: The National Institute of Neurological Disorders

Description. In collaboration with Dr. Steve Roth, we studied individuals who have lost vestibular function due to gentamicin therapy to determine whether there is an underlying genetic basis for such loss. The loss of balance function can have severe implications for general physical function and independence, and is a common consequence of aging. The loss of balance function occurs in a significant fraction of individuals (6-16%) treated with the antibiotic gentamicin (GM), and we hypothesize that genetic susceptibility is important. To study the genetic basis of drug susceptibility, we studied individuals with antibiotic-induced balance dysfunction. This study provided evidence of the influence of several genes on balance function. In addition to providing an immediate and significant clinical impact for patients being considered for antibiotic therapy, the work provided important information about the genetic aspects of balance function in general.


Roth SM, Williams SM, Jiang L, Menon KS, Jeka JJ (2008)  Susceptibility genes for gentamicin-induced vestibular dysfunction. Journal of Vestibular Research, 18(1), 59-68.

Keywords: Genetics, Vestibular, Antibiotics, Balance