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  • Synaptopathy_Review_FINAL (1)

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Hearing Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Hearing Research, 377, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.heares.2019.02.016

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The search for noise-induced cochlear synaptopathy in humans: Mission impossible?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Published
  • Naomi Bramhall
  • Elizabeth Beach
  • Bastian Epp
  • Colleen Le Prell
  • Enrique A. Lopez-Poveda
  • Christopher John Plack
  • Roland Schaette
  • Sarah Verhulst
  • Barbara Canlon
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/06/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Hearing Research
Volume377
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)88-103
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date9/03/19
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Animal studies demonstrate that noise exposure can permanently damage the synapses between inner hair cells and auditory nerve fibers, even when outer hair cells are intact and there is no clinically relevant permanent threshold shift. Synaptopathy disrupts the afferent connection between the cochlea and the central auditory system and is predicted to impair speech understanding in noisy environments and potentially result in tinnitus and/or hyperacusis. While cochlear synaptopathy has been demonstrated in numerous experimental animal models, synaptopathy can only be confirmed through post-mortem temporal bone analysis, making it difficult to study in living humans. A variety of non-invasive measures have been used to determine whether noise-induced synaptopathy occurs in humans, but the results are conflicting. The overall objective of this article is to synthesize the existing data on the functional impact of noise-induced synaptopathy in the human auditory system. The first section of the article summarizes the studies that provide evidence for and against noise-induced synaptopathy in humans. The second section offers potential explanations for the differing results between studies. The final section outlines suggested methodologies for diagnosing synaptopathy in humans with the aim of improving consistency across studies.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Hearing Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Hearing Research, 377, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.heares.2019.02.016