Hearing Experts Break Sound Barrier for Children w/o Hearing Nerve
[Source: Medical News Today]
Los Angeles research team studies brain plasticity, auditory brainstem implant safety in NIH-backed clinical trial
A multi-institutional team of hearing and communication experts led by the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) is breaking sound barriers for children born without a hearing nerve in a clinical trial backed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Launched in March 2014, the three-year study has enrolled five of 10 participants and successfully implanted an auditory brainstem implant (ABI) device in four children who previously could not hear.
The research team presented preliminary findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) 2015 Annual Meeting in San Jose, California.
“Initial activation of the ABI is like a newborn entering the world and hearing for the first time, which means these children will need time to learn to interpret what they are sensing through the device as ‘sound,'” said audiologist Laurie Eisenberg, Ph.D., a Keck School of Medicine of USC otolaryngology professor and study co-leader. “All of our study participants whose ABIs have been activated are progressing at expected or better rates. We are optimistic that, with intensive training and family support, these children will eventually be able to talk on the phone.”
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