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Sci Rep. 2016 May 13;6:25811. doi: 10.1038/srep25811.

Alterations in gray matter volume due to unilateral hearing loss.

Wang X1,2, Xu P3,4, Li P1,2, Wang Z1,2, Zhao F5, Gao Z1,2, Xu L6, Luo YJ3, Fan J7,8,9,10, Liu P1,2,5.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, No. 6 Tiantan Xili Dongcheng District, Beijing 100050, China.
2
China National Clinical Research Center for Neurological Diseases, No. 6 Tiantan Xili Dongcheng District, Beijing 100050, China.
3
Institute of Affective and Social Neuroscience, College of Psychology and Sociology, Shenzhen University, Nanhai Ave 3688, Shenzhen 518060, Guangdong, P.R. China.
4
Neuroimaging Center, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26, Harmonie Complex, 9712 EK Groningen, The Netherlands.
5
Lab for Neuro-reconstruction, Beijing Neurosurgery Institute, No. 6 Tiantan Xili Dongcheng District, Beijing 100050, P.R. China.
6
Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, Massachusetts, MA 02114, USA.
7
Department of Psychology, Queens College, The City University of New York, 65-30 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY, 11367, USA.
8
Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mont Sinai, 1 Gustave L. Levy Place New York, NY, 10029, USA.
9
Department of Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mont Sinai, 1 Gustave L. Levy Place New York, NY, 10029, USA.
10
Friedman Brain Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mont Sinai, 1 Gustave L. Levy Place New York, NY, 10029, USA.

Abstract

Although extensive research on neural plasticity resulting from hearing deprivation has been conducted, the direct influence of compromised audition on the auditory cortex and the potential impact of long durations of incomplete sensory stimulation on the adult cortex are still not fully understood. In this study, using voxel-based morphometry, we evaluated gray matter (GM) volume changes that may be associated with reduced hearing ability and the duration of hearing impairment in 42 unilateral hearing loss (UHL) patients with acoustic neuromas compared to 24 normal controls. We found significant GM volume increases in the somatosensory and motor systems and GM volume decreases in the auditory (i.e., Heschl's gyrus) and visual systems (i.e., the calcarine cortex) in UHL patients. The GM volume decreases in the primary auditory cortex (i.e., superior temporal gyrus and Heschl's gyrus) correlated with reduced hearing ability. Meanwhile, the GM volume decreases in structures involving high-level cognitive control functions (i.e., dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex) correlated positively with hearing loss duration. Our findings demonstrated that the severity and duration of UHL may contribute to the dissociated morphology of auditory and high-level neural structures, providing insight into the brain's plasticity related to chronic, persistent partial sensory loss.

PMID:
27174521
PMCID:
PMC4865827
DOI:
10.1038/srep25811
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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