LATEST HEARING & BALANCE RESEARCH
Here you can find some of the latest published articles or papers in hearing and balance research. If you'd like to share a peer-reviewed research article or publication with us, please email Tara Guastella at firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
Auditory Processing Disorders
By Amineh Koravand, Benoit Jutras
Published: November 2012
Summary: Forty children 9 to 12 years old participated in the study: 12 with sensory hearing loss (HL), 12 with central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), and 16 with normal hearing. They performed an ASO task in which they were asked to recall two, three, and five verbal and nonverbal stimuli with an inter-stimulus interval (ISI) of 425 ms as well as sequences of two elements with an ISI of 20 or 1000 ms. There was no significant difference found between the group of children with HL and the two other groups on non-verbal stimuli in all testing conditions. Results suggest that hearing loss can induce a specific signature when processing these verbal stimuli.
By: Carina Pals, Anastasios Sarampalls, Deniz Baskent
Published: December 28, 2012
Summary: Nineteen normal-hearing participants listened to CI simulations with varying numbers of spectral channels. A dual-task paradigm combining an intelligibility task with either linguistic or non-linguistic visual response-time (RT) task measured intelligibility and listening efforts. The simultaneously-performed tasks competed for limited cognitive resources; changes in effort associated with the intelligibility task were reflected in changes in RT on the visual task. All measures showed significant improvements with increasing spectral resolution up to 6 channels. In contrast, only the RT measure of listening effort continued improving up to 8 channels. The effects were stronger for RTs recorded during listening than for RTs recorded between listening. The results suggest that listening effort decreases with increased spectral resolution. Moreover, these improvements are best reflected in objective measures of listening effort such as RTs on a secondary task, rather than intelligibility scores or subjective effort measures.
By Diane S. Lazard, Christophe Vincent, Frederic Venail, Paul Van de Heyning, Eric Truy, Oliver Sterkers, Piotr H. Skarzynski, Karen Schauwers, Stephen O’Leary, Deborah Mawman, Bert Maat, Andrea Kleine-Punte, Alexander M. Huber, Kevin Green, Paul J. Govaerts, Bernard Fraysse, Richard Dowell, Norbert Dillier, Elaine Burke, Andy Beynon, Francois Bergeron, Deniz Baskent, Francoise Artieres, Peter J. Blamey
Published: November 9, 2012
Summary: Several new statistical analyses were conducted on the dataset described in Blamey et al (in press). The dataset consisted of retrospective information for 2251 CI recipients evaluated with various speech tests and conditions (quiet and noise) from 15 international centres. All centres provided the core information on implant performance (on an open-set speech perception test in quiet and in noise without lip-reading), duration of s/p HL, age at onset of s/p HL, etiology, and cochlear implant experience. Speech scores in quiet and in noise at two postoperative times for each recipient were requested from the clinics: one score collected early after activation of the CI (T1) and one score collected later on (T2). The choice of the date of the tests was free and varied between and within centres. The influence of 15 pre-, per- and postoperative factors, such as the duration of moderate hearing loss (mHL), the surgical approach (cochleostomy or round window approach), the angle of insertion, the percentage of active electrodes, and the brand of device were tested. The significant factors were: the pure tone average threshold of the better ear, the brand of device, the percentage of active electrodes, the use of hearing aids (HAs) during the period of pHL, and the duration of mHL.
By Ann E. Geers, Johanna G. Nicholas
Published: November 2012
Summary: Sixty children participated in a prospective longitudinal study of outcomes at 4.5 and 10.5 years of age. Twenty-nine children received a sequential second CI. Test scores were compared to normative samples of hearing age-mates and predictors of outcomes identified. As a result, standard scores on language tests at 10.5 years of age remained significantly correlated with age of first cochlear implantation. Scores were not associated with receipt of a second, sequentially-acquired CI. Significantly higher scores were achieved for vocabulary as compared with overall language, a finding not evident when the children were tested at younger ages.
By Kunio Mizutari, Masato Fujioka, Makoto Hosoya, Naomi Bramhall, Hirotaka James Okano, Hideyuki Okano, Albert S.B. Edge
Published: January 9, 2013
Summary: Hearing loss due to damage to auditory hair cells is normally irreversible because mammalian hair cells do not regenerate. Here, we show that new hair cells can be induced and can cause partial recovery of hearing in ears damaged by noise trauma, when Notch signaling is inhibited by a γ-secretase inhibitor selected for potency in stimulating hair cell differentiation from inner ear stem cells in vitro. Hair cell generation resulted from an increase in the level of bHLH transcription factor Atoh1 in response to inhibition of Notch signaling. In vivo prospective labeling of Sox2-expressing cells with a Cre-lox system unambiguously demonstrated that hair cell generation resulted from transdifferentiation of supporting cells. Manipulating cell fate of cochlear sensory cells in vivo by pharmacological inhibition of Notch signaling is thus a potential therapeutic approach to the treatment of deafness.
By Jin Liang, Dongmei Wang, Gabriel Renaud, Tyra G. Wolfsberg, Alexander F. Wilson, Shawn M. Burgess
Published: October 3, 2012
Summary: The sensory epithelium of the inner ear is mainly composed of two types of cells: hair cells and supporting cells. Inner ear hair cells are the basic mechanosensory receptors for hearing and balance, while supporting cells provide a variety of functions including being the stem cells for replacing hair cells in most vertebrates. In mammals, loss of inner ear hair cells caused by acoustic over-exposure or aging is the major cause of permanent auditory and vestibular deficiencies because mammals lose regenerative ability after birth. A powerful profiling technique digital gene expression (DGE) was used to study the hair cell regeneration in zebrafish at high resolution to get a more comprehensive view of the process. In zebrafish, spontaneous and damage-induced hair cell production has been demonstrated in both the inner ear and the a mechanosensory structure highly similar to the sensory epithelia of the inner ear.
Moreover, the stat3/socs3a pathway is involved in hair cell production in zebrafish development. In addition to the hair cells in their inner ears, zebrafish, like other fishes and amphibians, also possess the mechanosensory lateral line organ for detecting water movement over the body. The neuromasts in the lateral line are composed of hair cells and supporting cells that are highly similar to those in the inner ear sensory epithelium. In addition, the hair cell regeneration in the lateral line neuromasts shares a similar molecular mechanism to that in the inner ear. To further clarify the function of stat3, we compared the hair cell regeneration processes with and without the presence of a stat3 inhibitor. The majority of the chemical inhibitors were ototoxic and could not be used for regeneration studies. One published inhibitor, S3I-201, was not toxic on its own and was used to test the role of stat3 in hair cell regeneration. S3I-201 is a cell-permeable chemical that binds to the SH2 domain of mammalian stat3 protein and reportedly blocks the dimerization of phosphorylated (activated) stat3 molecules.
By Shi-Ming Yang, Wei Chen, Wei-Wei Guo, Shuping Jia, Jian-He Sun, Hui-Zhan Liu, Wie-Yen Young, David Z. Z. He
Published: September 27, 2012
Summary: Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a major health problem. Acoustic trauma causes NIHL when permanent cochlear damage results from exposure to high-intensity sounds, such as explosions, gunfire, and firecrackers. NIHL is usually due to destruction of cochlear hair cells and/or damage to their hair bundles. Cochlear hair cells transduce mechanical stimuli into electrical activity. The hair bundle, a staircase array of stereocilia of different heights, is the site of mechanoelectrical transduction. The delicate hair bundle is susceptile to both acoustic trauma and ototoxic drugs. The inability of stereocilia to self-repair can subsequently lead to hair cell death and permanent hearing loss.
Moreover, adult guinea pigs were exposed to 200 rounds of simulated gunfire. The CM was measured to monitor the damage of the hair cells in some animals. The CM, an electrical potential generated in the cochlear hair cells in response to acoustic stimulation, primarily reflects mechanotransduction in the stereocilia of outer hair cells. The CM response before and after 1, 10, and 200 rounds of gunfire was recorded. After exposures to 10 and 200 rounds of gunfire, the magnitude decreased by 66% and 97%, respectively. The reduction represents a significant disruption of outer hair cell (OHC) mechanotransduction after noise exposure. ABRs, frequently used to monitor hearing loss, are electrical signals evoked from the brainstem during presentation of an acoustic signal. ABR thresholds were obtained from both ears of 19 animals at 4, 8, 16, and 20 Hz using tone pips.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
By: Jae-Jin Song, Andrea Kleine Punte, Dirk De Ridder, Sven Vanneste, Paul Van de Heyning
Published: May 2013
Summary: A collection of quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) data from nine SSD patients who underwent CI for tinnitus management was done. By correlating the degree of improvement in tinnitus intensity and tinnitus-related distress with preoperative source-localized qEEG findings and comparing qEEG findings of patients with marked improvement after CI with those with relatively slight improvement with regard to source-localized activity complimented by connectivity analysis, we attempted to find preoperative predictors of tinnitus improvement. Hence, there were increased activities of the auditory cortex (AC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and increased functional connectivity between the AC and PCC as negative prognostic factors for the reduction of tinnitus intensity after CI in patients with SSD.
By Yuguang Niu, Anand Kumaraguru, Rongguang Wang, Wei Sun
Published: November 14, 2012
Summary: The effects of narrow‐band noise exposure on the firing properties of neurons in the inferior colliculus (IC) were studied, which has complex neural circuits and plays an important role in sound processing. It was found that noise exposure (20 kHz, 105 dB SPL, 30 min) caused a dramatic decrease of the characteristic frequency in about two‐thirds of high‐frequency neurons with/without causing a significant threshold shift. The noise exposure also caused an increase in firing rate of the low‐frequency neurons at suprathreshold levels, whereas it dramatically decreased the firing rate of the high‐frequency neurons.
By Robert A. Dobie
Published: July 2012
Summary: The population burden of hearing loss, or any other disorder, can be measured using disease-specific metrics (e.g., audiometry and hearing disability questionnaires). Occupational noise probably causes 5- 10% of the adult hearing loss burden in wealthy countries. Occupational noise is greater in developing countries for 2 reasons: (1) manufacturing jobs have been relocating to these countries; (2) the average lifespan is shorter in the developing world, reducing the burden of age- related hearing loss. Non-occupational noise has a similar impact and should be reduced through education and clinical counseling.
By Robert A. Dobie
Published: August 2008
Summary: Occupational noise exposure probably accounts for less than 10% of the burden of adult hearing loss in the United States; most of the rest is age-related. Most of the occupational noise burden is attributable to unprotected exposures above 95 dBA, and becomes apparent in middle age, when occupational noise exposure has ceased but age-related threshold shifts are added to prior noise-induced shifts, resulting in clinically significant impairment.
Moreover, in the current state of knowledge, noise-induced hearing loss is still the most important preventable cause of hearing loss in the United States. The burden of occupational noise-induced hearing loss could probably be reduced by stricter enforcement of existing regulations. Longer lifespans in developed countries and migration of manufacturing jobs to developing countries will continue to reduce the relative contribution of occupational hearing loss in countries like the United States. Preventive interventions for age-related hearing loss, even if only partially effective, could potentially reduce the burden of adult hearing loss more than elimination of occupational noise.
Are We Facing an Epidemic of Noise- Induced Hearing Loss?
By Robert A. Dobie
Published: September/October 2008
Summary: NIHL is not increasing in the USA since there is no national representative way to count cases of NIHL. Is Noise exposure increasing? Since 1983, American employers provided hearing protection devices for the noise- exposed workers. Over time, the number of manufacturing jobs decreased by 50%. As some Americans like to use guns, shooting requires hearing protection devices. Also, the numbers of hunting licenses have been stable for decades. Thus it is hard to argue that hazardous noise exposure is increasing.
Moreover, What about iPods, etc.? For iPods, it is possible to play music loud enough and long enough to cause NIHL; but very few people do that. There is no substantial evidence that iPods have had an effect on hearing of the population. What about the ‘noise of everyday life’? There is no evidence that people who live in busy big cities suffer from hearing loose than those who live in tranquil. Do people hear worse now than in previous years? Dobie’s research indicates that hearing thresholds as a function of age, sex have been stable in the US for the past 40 years.
Lastly, And the developing world? Manufacturing jobs have been moving to developing countries for decades. Unfortunately, in these conditions, developing countries do not have the ability or will to implement effect hearing conservation programs. Hence, the most cost-effective interventions are those directed at the most underserved groups.
By Jessica Bondy, MHA; Stephen Berman, MD; Judith Glazner, MS; and Dennis Lezotte, PhD
Published: June 2000
Summary: Twenty-eight percent of children experienced at least 1 episode of diagnosed otitis media. The proportion of children with a diagnosis of otitis media was highest (42%–60%) in the 7-month to 36-month age range. The proportion was also higher among white(34.5%) and Hispanic (25.3%) children than among black children (18.5%), as well as among rural (34.5%) compared with urban children (27.2%). Children 19 to 24 months of age incurred the highest total annual expenditures per child with otitis media ($239.68). Expenditures for drugs, visits, and procedures were all highest for this group. The per-patient cost to Medicaid was greater for visits than for drugs or procedures across all age groups.
Moreover, total per-patient expenditures were higher for males ($174.67) than for females ($154.47) and higher for white children ($176.59) than for Hispanic ($154.12) or black children ($134.44). The differences among the ethnic groups can be attributed almost entirely to differences in expenditures for procedures and drugs. Although mean expenditures per patient varied substantially by some patient characteristics (eg, race), these differences accounted for only a small fraction of the enormous variation in costs per patient.
In addition, because 40% of expenditures to treat otitis media are incurred between 1 and 3 years of age, vaccines designed to reduce the incidence of otitis media are most likely to be cost-effective if they can be administered before the child’s first birthday. Because visits are the most costly category of service for all payers, otitis media case management guidelines should emphasize reducing unnecessary visits, for instance, by improving physician training in pneumatic otoscopy, which has been shown to be critical to an accurate diagnosis of otitis media, and by scheduling follow-up visits for children who have become asymptomatic 3 to 4 weeks after diagnosis rather than after 10 to 14 days, allowing time for resolution of the middle ear effusion.
By Sofia Waissbluth, Sam J. Daniel
Published: May 2013
Summary: Cisplatin is a potent antineoplastic agent widely used for a variety of cancer types. Unfortunately, its use leads to dose limiting side effects such as ototoxicity. Up to 93% of patients receiving cisplatin chemotherapy will develop progressive and irreversible sensorineural hearing loss which leads to a decreased quality of life in cancer survivors. No treatment is currently available for cisplatin-induced ototoxicity. It appears that cisplatin causes apoptosis by binding DNA, activating the inflammatory cascade as well as generating oxidative stress in the cell. There were some key highlights: (1) Increase in ctr1 and decrease in ctr2 causes an increase in intracellular cisplatin, (2) Organic cation transporter OCT2 is an important transporter for cisplatin, not OCT1, (3) TRPA1 and TRPV1 expression is increased when cells are exposed to cisplatin, (4) Roles of TRPA1 and TRPV1 in cisplatin toxicity are poorly understood, (5) There is no evidence to suggest cisplatin may enter cells through calcium channels.
Hearing Impairment & Disability Over Time
By Robert A. Dobie
Published: November/December 2011
Summary: This study supports the continued use of the 1979 AMA* method (“hearing handicap” or “binaural hearing impairment” in which air-conduction thresholds at 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 Hz; assumes a “low fence” of 25 dB HL and a “high fence” of 92 dB HL; and gives five times more weight to the better ear than to the worse ear. BHI** is calculated from these eight thresholds). Incorporation of WRSs(word recognition scores)***, as typically measured clinically, into methods of estimating hearing disability is not supported because of negligible improvement in accuracy and inability to control exaggeration for speech tests in medical-legal settings.
*- American Medical Association
**- Binaural Hearing Impairment
By Howard J. Hoffman, Robert A. Dobie, Chia-Wen Ko, Christa L. Themann, and William J. Murphy
Published: December 2010
Summary: Across age and sex groups, median thresholds were lower (better) in the 1999–2004 survey at 500, 3000, 4000, and 6000 Hz (8000 Hz was not tested in the 1959–1962 survey). For both men and women, the prevalence of hearing impairment was significantly lower in 1999–2004 at 500, 2000, and 4000 Hz, but not at 1000 Hz. For men and women of a specific age, high-frequency hearing thresholds were lower (better) in 1999–2004 than in 1959– 1962. The prevalences of hearing impairment were also lower in the recent survey. Differences seen at 500 Hz may be attributable at least in part to changes in standards for ambient noise in audiometry. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2004 distributions are offered as a possible replacement for Annex B in ISO-1999 and ANSI S3.44.
By Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD; Kristine Yaffe, MD; Jin Xia, MS; Qian-Li Xue, PhD; Tamara B. Harris, MD, MS; Elizabeth Purchase-Helzner, PhD; Suzanne Satterfield, MD, DrPH; Hilsa N. Ayonayon, PhD; Luigi Ferrucci, MD, PhD; Eleanor M. Simonsick, PhD; for the Health ABC Study Group
Published: January 21, 2013
Summary: Compared to those with normal hearing, individuals with hearing loss at baseline had a 24% increased risk for incident cognitive impairment. Rates of cognitive decline and the risk for incident cognitive impairment were linearly associated with the severity of an individual's baseline hearing loss. Hearing loss is independently associated with accelerated cognitive decline and incident cognitive impairment in community-dwelling older adults. Further studies are needed to investigate what the mechanistic basis of this association is and whether hearing rehabilitative interventions could affect cognitive decline.
By Jennifer J. Lentz, Francine M Jodelka, Anthony J Hinrich, Kate E McCaffrey, Hamilton E Farris, Matthew J Spalitta, Nicolas G Bazan, Dominik M Duelli, Frank Rigo & Michelle L Hastings.
Published: February 4, 2013
Summary: Researchers are reporting that hearing and balance can be rescued by a new therapy in a mouse model of Usher syndrome (Usher) that contains the mutation responsible for type 1C Usher. The results provide the first evidence that congenital deafness can be effectively overcome by treatment early in development to correct gene expression.