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Auditory processing deficits in individuals with primary open-angle glaucoma

  • Author(s): Rance, G
  • O'Hare, F
  • O'Leary, S
  • Starr, A
  • Ly, A
  • Cheng, B
  • Tomlin, D
  • Graydon, K
  • Chisari, D
  • Trounce, I
  • Crowston, J
  • et al.
Abstract

Objective: The high energy demand of the auditory and visual pathways render these sensory systems prone to diseases that impair mitochondrial function. Primary open-angle glaucoma, a neurodegenerative disease of the optic nerve, has recently been associated with a spectrum of mitochondrial abnormalities. This study sought to investigate auditory processing in individuals with open-angle glaucoma. Design/Study sample: Twenty-seven subjects with open-angle glaucoma underwent electrophysiologic (auditory brainstem response), auditory temporal processing (amplitude modulation detection), and speech perception (monosyllabic words in quiet and background noise) assessment in each ear. A cohort of age, gender and hearing level matched control subjects was also tested. Results: While the majority of glaucoma subjects in this study demonstrated normal auditory function, there were a significant number (6/27 subjects, 22%) who showed abnormal auditory brainstem responses and impaired auditory perception in one or both ears. Conclusions: The finding that a significant proportion of subjects with open-angle glaucoma presented with auditory dysfunction provides evidence of systemic neuronal susceptibility. Affected individuals may suffer significant communication difficulties in everyday listening situations. © 2012 British Society of Audiology, International Society of Audiology, and Nordic Audiological Society.

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