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

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Evaluation and Management of Challenging Patient  Populations in Audiology
Format(s): SIG Perspectives and Exam
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 and Exam
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 and Exam
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.
Perspectives, SIG 6, Vol. 2, Part 2, 2017
Format(s): SIG Perspectives and Exam
This Perspectives focused on the current cochlear implant candidacy for adults with hearing impairment. We reviewed factors such as bilateral implantation, bimodal stimulation, surgical improvements, MRI compatibility, insurance coverage, and cosmetic considerations. We discussed the benefit of preserving low-frequency hearing loss with the hybrid/electro-acoustic cochlear implant. Moreover, we examined potential contributors for loss of residual acoustic hearing with hybrid/electro-acoustic cochlear implantation in a subset of patients. Etiologies such as mechanical damage to cochlear structures, inflammation and apoptosis of hair cells, and alterations to blood flow were discussed. Audiologists should stay informed on implantable solutions to hearing loss and should recommend cochlear implant evaluation for patients that fit the expanded candidacy criteria.

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