Noise-induced cochlear synaptopathy: Past findings and future studies.

Title

Noise-induced cochlear synaptopathy: Past findings and future studies.

Creator

Kobel Megan; Le Prell Colleen G; Liu Jennifer; Hawks John W; Bao Jianxin

Publisher

Hearing research

Date

2017
2017-06

Description

For decades, we have presumed the death of hair cells and spiral ganglion neurons are the main cause of hearing loss and difficulties understanding speech in noise, but new findings suggest synapse loss may be the key contributor. Specifically, recent preclinical studies suggest that the synapses between inner hair cells and spiral ganglion neurons with low spontaneous rates and high thresholds are the most vulnerable subcellular structures, with respect to insults during aging and noise exposure. This cochlear synaptopathy can be "hidden" because this synaptic loss can occur without permanent hearing threshold shifts. This new discovery of synaptic loss opens doors to new research directions. Here, we review a number of recent studies and make suggestions in two critical future research directions. First, based on solid evidence of cochlear synaptopathy in animal models, it is time to apply molecular approaches to identify the underlying molecular mechanisms; improved understanding is necessary for developing rational, effective therapies against this cochlear synaptopathy. Second, in human studies, the data supporting cochlear synaptopathy are indirect although rapid progress has been made. To fully identify changes in function that are directly related this hidden synaptic damage, we argue that a battery of tests including both electrophysiological and behavior tests should be combined for diagnosis of "hidden hearing loss" in clinical studies. This new approach may provide a direct link between cochlear synaptopathy and perceptual difficulties.

Subject

*Auditory Perception; *Hearing; *Hearing loss; *Molecular approach; *Preclinical model; *Spiral ganglion; *Synaptic loss; *Synaptic Transmission; Animals; Auditory; Hair Cells; Hearing Loss; Hearing Tests; Humans; Inner/*pathology; Noise-Induced/diagnosis/*pathology/physiopathology/psychology; Noise/*adverse effects; Predictive Value of Tests; Psychoacoustics; Spiral Ganglion/*pathology/physiopathology; Synapses/*pathology

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Pages

148–154

Volume

349

Citation

Kobel Megan; Le Prell Colleen G; Liu Jennifer; Hawks John W; Bao Jianxin, “Noise-induced cochlear synaptopathy: Past findings and future studies.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed August 3, 2021, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/3584.

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