Effects of Age and Noise Exposure on Proxy Measures of Cochlear Synaptopathy

Prendergast, Garreth and Couth, Samuel and Rebecca, Millman and Guest, Hannah and Kluk, Karolina and Munro, Kevin and Plack, Christopher (2019) Effects of Age and Noise Exposure on Proxy Measures of Cochlear Synaptopathy. Trends in Hearing, 23: 2331216519. ISSN 2331-2165

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Although there is strong histological evidence for age-related synaptopathy in humans, evidence for the existence of noise-induced cochlear synaptopathy in humans is inconclusive. Here, we sought to evaluate the relative contributions of age and noise exposure to cochlear synaptopathy using a series of electrophysiological and behavioral measures. We extended an existing cohort by including 33 adults in the age range 37 to 60, resulting in a total of 156 participants, with the additional older participants resulting in a weakening of the correlation between lifetime noise exposure and age. We used six independent regression models (corrected for multiple comparisons), in which age, lifetime noise exposure, and high-frequency audiometric thresholds were used to predict measures of synaptopathy, with a focus on differential measures. The models for auditory brainstem responses, envelope-following responses, interaural phase discrimination, and the co-ordinate response measure of speech perception were not statistically significant. However, both age and noise exposure were significant predictors of performance on the digit triplet test of speech perception in noise, with greater noise exposure (unexpectedly) predicting better performance in the 80 dB sound pressure level (SPL) condition and greater age predicting better performance in the 40 dB SPL condition. Amplitude modulation detection thresholds were also significantly predicted by age, with older listeners performing better than younger listeners at 80 dB SPL. Overall, the results are inconsistent with the predicted effects of synaptopathy.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Trends in Hearing
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? cochlear synaptopathyhidden hearing lossnoise-induced hearing lossspeech in noisepsychophysicsgeneral medicinemedicine(all) ??
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Deposited On:
29 Aug 2019 14:15
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 11:15