Deafness and other communication disorders
The WHO estimates 360 million people - over 5 percent of the world's population - have disabling hearing loss, with the burden falling disproportionately on populations in low- and middle-income countries - as much as 80 percent. Up to 1 percent of people stutter and others have voice, language or other speech disorders.
At NIH, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) supports more than 1,000 research and training awards - including a number in low-resource settings - focusing on genes, infections, toxic compounds, brain and ear injury, and other factors that can contribute to communication disorders.
Many NIDCD-supported scientists have some global health research involvement. By studying large families that have a particular communication disorder, NIDCD scientists have discovered a number of genes associated with deafness and stuttering. These findings are steadily increasing scientific knowledge and moving science closer to more effective tools to diagnose and treat people with these communication disorders.
NIH News and Resources
Focus on National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
May / June 2014 Global Health Matters
More NIDCD topic and research resources:
- Deafness resources:
- Stuttering resources:
Other Online Resources