Chapter

The sensorineural hearing loss model of tinnitus

Jos J. Eggermont

in The Neuroscience of Tinnitus

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199605606
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741555 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605606.003.0007
The sensorineural hearing loss model of tinnitus

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The primary targets of noise trauma (and ototoxic drugs) are the cochlear hair cells. Even if the result of noise exposure is just a temporary threshold shift, this may result in permanent loss of the ganglion cells that innervate the inner hair cells. Central nerve degeneration may ensue. The trauma generally causes a reduction in spontaneous firing rates of auditory nerve fibers. This typically causes an imbalance between neural excitation and inhibition in the central auditory system. This results in hyperactivity in the DCN, and can result in tonotopic map reorganization, likely only in cortical areas, accompanied by increased SFR and increased neural synchrony. This trio of changes is considered to comprise potential neural substrates of tinnitus. Shortly after the trauma restoration of the excitatory-inhibitory balance can prevent the occurrence of these substrates and likely also tinnitus.

Keywords: noise-induced hearing loss; ototoxic drugs; temporary threshold shift; cochlear ablation; conductive hearing loss; animal model; central nervous system; enhanced acoustic environment; neurotransmitters; immediate early genes

Chapter.  13515 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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