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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Acute study on the efficacy and safety of an auditory brainstem prosthesis.

Patients with profound binaural sensorineural hearing loss can be treated with cochlear implantation. In recent years, patients who have lost the integrity of the auditory nerve between the spiral ganglion and the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem, and cannot benefit from a cochlear implant, have reported auditory sensations following direct stimulation of the cochlear nucleus with an auditory brainstem prosthesis. To examine the safety and efficacy of such a prosthesis, the cochlear nuclei of guinea-pigs were acutely implanted and stimulated unilaterally with bipolar surface electrodes using the parameters of human implants. The activation of the central auditory pathway by the prosthesis was demonstrated using the 2-deoxyglucose technique. There was broad 2-deoxyglucose labelling in the ipsilateral cochlear nucleus and bilaterally in the inferior colliculi, indicating unusual stimulation of the ipsilateral ascending pathway. Histological examination was performed on all cochlear nuclei. The volumes of cochlear nuclei and the neuron sizes and density in the cochlear nuclei were analysed with three-dimensional reconstruction techniques, and comparisons were made between the stimulated and unstimulated sides. No histological difference, either by direct visual observation or by statistical comparisons, was observed between the stimulated cochlear nuclei and the control sides. These results suggest that in the acute case the auditory brainstem prostheses can safely and effectively activate the auditory pathway in guinea-pigs.[1]


  1. Acute study on the efficacy and safety of an auditory brainstem prosthesis. Liu, X., McPhee, G., Seldon, H.L., Clark, G.M. Acta Otolaryngol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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