Special Interest Group 06 - Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics

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Clinical Applications of Vestibular Scientific Advancements in Specialized Populations
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
These Perspectives (SIG 6) articles describe current research, diagnostic, and management techniques for three different vestibular populations, including individuals with Usher Syndrome, Meniere’s Disease, and aging populations. The first article examines age-related changes in vestibular function and discusses findings in animal studies examining specific structural and functional changes occurring within the system. The second article is a review designed to advance understanding of the clinical presentation of individuals with Usher Syndrome and discuss the importance of a multi-disciplinary team in diagnosis and management. Additionally, the latest research in gene-therapy treatments for Usher Syndrome are discussed. The final article is a large scale retrospective study of patients with an active Meniere’s Disease diagnosis. The study examines correlations between disease duration and diagnostic assessment findings.
Evaluation and Management of Challenging Patient  Populations in Audiology
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
These Perspectives (SIG 6) articles focus on diagnostic tools and considerations for management of several challenging patient populations in audiology. The first article discusses utilizing magnetic resonance imaging to determine the functional and structural neural alterations associated with chronic tinnitus. Researchers are utilizing advanced imaging techniques to study variability in perceptual characteristics and reaction to tinnitus. The second article discusses the continuum of disorders known as “cortical hearing impairment,” supported by a comprehensive summary of clinical presentations. Despite its rarity, an audiologist must understand etiologies of cortical hearing impairment and know how to evaluate and characterize the accompanied hearing difficulty. The third article examines the effects of concussion of the vestibular system and presented an assessment battery for athletes postconcussion and for determining return to play.
Perspectives, SIG 6, Vol. 3, Part 2, 2018
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
The first article discusses how electrophysiological measures can supplement traditional audiometric evaluation in assessment of age-related hearing loss (ARHL). Perceptual consequences of ARHL in part, can be attributed to a reduced ability to accurately process temporal and frequency cues of speech. The frequency following response and cortical-auditory evoked potential measures may be used to identify deficits in the neural processing of speech and guide management of ARHL. The second article shares current evidence supporting an association between cognitive impairment and hearing loss. Research is ongoing to determine whether management of hearing loss with amplification devices and auditory rehabilitation reduces the risk for cognitive decline. The third article highlights a novel pharmaceutical intervention for ARHL. Specifically, the paper focused on AUT00063, a small molecule that modifies a critical ion channel, Kv3, involved in repolarization of a neural action potential within the central auditory pathway. The final article focuses on the aspects of cognition that are most relevant to behavioral auditory research and provides an overview of cognitive hearing science, auditory neuroscience, and electrophysiological measures ideal for studying how the brain processes speech.
Perspectives, SIG 6, Vol. 3, Part 1, 2018
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
This Perspectives, shared two insightful articles that could influence clinical care decisions. The first article discussed the ambiguity in the diagnosis of an auditory processing disorder and what to consider when selecting a diagnostic test. This article defined the “gold standard” test and elaborated on diagnostic accuracy research. The second article detailed the prevalence and indicators of dementia. Research suggests that hearing loss is a potential modifiable factor for dementia. This article reviewed considerations for hearing assessment, counseling, and communicating with patients with dementia. Audiologists play an important role in differentiating communicative behaviors associated with hearing loss from those of dementia and can assist in optimizing hearing and safety of persons with dementia.

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