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The varieties of auditory neuropathy.

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1
Department of Neurology, University of California, Irvine 92697-4290, USA.

Abstract

Auditory neuropathy (AN) was initially described as impairment of auditory neural function, with preserved cochlear hair cell function. In this report, 67 patients with audiological and neurophysiological criteria for hearing loss due to auditory neuropathy are described. Reviewing this large body of patients, AN appears to consist of a number of varieties, with different etiologies and sites affected. All varieties share a relatively spared receptor function, and an impaired neural response, with diminished ability to follow fast temporal changes in the stimulus, but different varieties in this general scheme can be distinguished. Analyses of the clinical features indicate that auditory neuropathies vary in several measures including age of onset, presence of peripheral neuropathy, etiology, and behavioral and physiological measures of auditory function. The sites affected along the peripheral auditory pathway may include dysfunction of the outer hair cells, the synapse between hair cell and auditory nerve, and the auditory nerve fibers, with myelin as well as axonal impairments contributing to the disorder.

PMID:
11041385
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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