Anna Garza-Mayers, MD, PhD
University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
Vitiligo is a common skin disorder in which the body’s own immune cells attack melanocytes, the cells that produce pigment in the skin, resulting in white spots. Melanocytes also exist in other organs of the body, including the ears and eyes, and some research suggests melanocyte destruction may also affect hearing and vision. Using routine screening tests, our study will compare hearing and vision in pediatric patients with and without vitiligo to determine whether children with vitiligo are at increased risk for hearing loss and decreased vision. This could lead to larger studies and could affect if and how often children with vitiligo are referred for screening tests, potentially impacting their development and quality of life.
This project was funded by a 2021 PeDRA Research Grant.