Audiology in Brief A cochlear implant can effectively suppress tinnitus for many patients, but new research in the December 2009 American Journal of Audiology examines whether people who have preoperative tinnitus experience a partial or total relief from the condition and whether cochlear implantation results in tinnitus. In a study of 244 ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   December 01, 2009
Audiology in Brief
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Hearing Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   December 01, 2009
Audiology in Brief
The ASHA Leader, December 2009, Vol. 14, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.14162009.5
The ASHA Leader, December 2009, Vol. 14, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.14162009.5
Cochlear Implants Reduce Tinnitus Severity
A cochlear implant can effectively suppress tinnitus for many patients, but new research in the December 2009 American Journal of Audiology examines whether people who have preoperative tinnitus experience a partial or total relief from the condition and whether cochlear implantation results in tinnitus. In a study of 244 cochlear implant recipients, 94 patients (61%) experienced total suppression of tinnitus after cochlear implantation, and 59 patients (39%) still had tinnitus, although Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire scores were often dramatically reduced. Eleven patients (12%) did not have tinnitus preoperatively, but developed it after cochlear implantation. These individuals tended to have a shorter duration of profound hearing loss and a more advanced age, although these small differences were not significant. Visit American Journal of Audiology.
Skype and Sign Language
Students at Sunlake High School in Land O’ Lakes, Fla., are using Skype videoconferencing to communicate each week with students at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine. Skype is a free, downloadable Web-based program that allows people with webcams to communicate through videoconferencing. The 155 students who are learning American Sign Language can converse with peers who use the language; the students who are deaf with second-language acquisition of English can expand their vocabulary, enhance social interactions, and share Deaf culture. For more information about the class, visit Tampa Bay Online (search “Skype”).
Type II Cochlear Neurons
A Johns Hopkins team has measured and recorded for the first time the elusive electrical activity of the type II neurons in rat cochlea. These cells carry signals from the ear to the brain, responding only to very loud sounds such as sirens or alarms that might be described as painful or traumatic.
The researchers also discovered that these sensory cells respond to glutamate released from sensory hair cells of the inner ear. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter in the nervous system that excites cochlear neurons, stimulating them to carry acoustic information to the brain.
“No one thought recording them was even possible,” said Paul A. Fuchs, study co-author and co-director of the Center for Sensory Biology in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “We knew the type II neurons were there and now at least we know something about what they do and how they do it.” The team postulates that the neurons may play a role in reflexive withdrawals from potential trauma. The article appears in the Oct. 2009 issue of Nature.
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December 2009
Volume 14, Issue 16