Effects of Age on Electrophysiological Measures of Cochlear Synaptopathy in Humans

Carcagno, Samuele and Plack, Christopher (2020) Effects of Age on Electrophysiological Measures of Cochlear Synaptopathy in Humans. Hearing Research, 396. ISSN 0378-5955

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Abstract

Age-related cochlear synaptopathy (CS) has been shown to occur in rodents with minimal noise exposure, and has been hypothesized to play a crucial role in age-related hearing declines in humans. Because CS affects mainly low-spontaneous rate auditory nerve fibers, differential electrophysiological measures such as the ratio of the amplitude of wave I of the auditory brainstem response (ABR) at high to low click levels (WIH/WIL), and the difference between frequency following response (FFR) levels to shallow and deep amplitude modulated tones (FFRS-FFRD), have been proposed as CS markers. However, age-related audiometric threshold shifts, particularly prominent at high frequencies, may confound the interpretation of these measures in cross-sectional studies of age-related CS. To address this issue, we measured WIH/WIL and FFRS-FFRD using highpass masking (HP) noise to eliminate the contribution of high-frequency cochlear regions to the responses in a cross-sectional sample of 102 subjects (34 young, 34 middle-aged, 34 older). WIH/WIL in the presence of the HP noise did not decrease as a function of age. However, in the absence of HP noise, WIH/WIL showed credible age-related decreases even after partialing out the effects of audiometric threshold shifts. No credible age-related decreases of FFRS-FFRD were found. Overall, the results do not provide evidence of age-related CS in the low-frequency region where the responses were restricted by the HP noise, but are consistent with the presence of age-related CS in higher frequency regions.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Hearing Research
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2800/2809
Subjects:
ID Code:
147009
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
02 Sep 2020 13:15
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
23 Jun 2021 04:08