Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology 2024-02-26

Swept Along: Measuring Otoacoustic Emissions Using Continuously Varying Stimuli

CA Shera

Publication date 26-02-2024


At the 2004 Midwinter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, Glenis Long and her colleagues introduced a method for measuring distortion-product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) using primary-tone stimuli whose instantaneous frequencies vary continuously with time. In contrast to standard OAE measurement methods, in which emissions are measured in the sinusoidal steady state using discrete tones of well-defined frequency, the swept-tone method sweeps across frequency, often at rates exceeding 1 oct/s. The resulting response waveforms are then analyzed using an appropriate filter (e.g., by least-squares fitting). Although introduced as a convenient way of studying DPOAE fine structure by separating the total OAE into distortion and reflection components, the swept-tone method has since been extended to stimulus-frequency emissions and has proved an efficient and valuable tool for probing cochlear mechanics. One day—a long time coming—swept tones may even find their way into the audiology clinic.

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Measuring Optokinetic Reflex and Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex in Unilateral Vestibular Organ Damage Model of Zebrafish

KH Lim,HK Kim,S Park,E Han,I Song,HS Yoon,J Kim,Y Lee,YH Jang,YC Rah,SH Lee,J Choi

Publication date 15-02-2024


One-sided vestibular disorders are common in clinical practice; however, their models have not been fully established. We investigated the effect of unilateral or bilateral deficits in the vestibular organs on the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) and optokinetic reflex (OKR) of zebrafish using in-house equipment. For physical dislodgement of the otoliths in the utricles of zebrafish larvae, one or both utricles were separated from the surrounding tissue using glass capillaries. The video data from VOR and OKR tests with the larvae was collected and processed using digital signal processing techniques such as fast Fourier transform and low-pass filters. The results showed that unilateral and bilateral damage to the vestibular system significantly reduced VOR and OKR. In contrast, no significant difference was observed between unilateral and bilateral damage. This study confirmed that VOR and OKR were significantly reduced in zebrafish with unilateral and bilateral vestibular damage. Follow-up studies on unilateral vestibular disorders can be conducted using this tool.

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Editorial: Views on\xa0JARO 2023

C Cederroth

Publication date 12-02-2024


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A Systematic Review on the Genetic Contribution to Tinnitus

P Perez-Carpena,JA Lopez-Escamez,Á Gallego-Martinez

Publication date 09-02-2024


Purpose To assess the available evidence to support a genetic contribution and define the role of common and rare variants in tinnitus. Methods After a systematic search and quality assessment, 31 records including 383,063 patients were selected (14 epidemiological studies and 17 genetic association studies). General information on the sample size, age, sex, tinnitus prevalence, severe tinnitus distribution, and sensorineural hearing loss was retrieved. Studies that did not include data on hearing assessment were excluded. Relative frequencies were used for qualitative variables to compare different studies and to obtain average values. Genetic variants and genes were listed and clustered according to their potential role in tinnitus development. Results The average prevalence of tinnitus estimated from population-based studies was 26.3% for any tinnitus, and 20% of patients with tinnitus reported it as an annoying symptom. One study has reported population-specific differences in the prevalence of tinnitus, the white ancestry being the population with a higher prevalence. Genome-wide association studies have identified and replicated two common variants in the Chinese population (rs2846071; rs4149577) in the intron of TNFRSF1A, associated with noise-induced tinnitus. Moreover, gene burden analyses in sequencing data from Spanish and Swede patients with severe tinnitus have identified and replicated ANK2, AKAP9, and TSC2 genes. Conclusions The genetic contribution to tinnitus is starting to be revealed and it shows population-specific effects in European and Asian populations. The common allelic variants associated with tinnitus that showed replication are associated with noise-induced tinnitus. Although severe tinnitus has been associated with rare variants with large effect, their role on hearing or hyperacusis has not been established.

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Frequency-Following Responses in Sensorineural Hearing Loss: A Systematic Review

L Jacxsens,L Biot,C Escera,A Gilles,E Cardon,V Van Rompaey,W De Hertogh,MJW Lammers

Publication date 09-02-2024


Purpose This systematic review aims to assess the impact of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) on various frequency-following response (FFR) parameters. Methods Following PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review was conducted using Pub Med, Web of Science, and Scopus databases up to January 2023. Studies evaluating FFRs in patients with SNHL and normal hearing controls were included. Results Sixteen case–control studies were included, revealing variability in acquisition parameters. In the time domain, patients with SNHL exhibited prolonged latencies. The specific waves that were prolonged differed across studies. There was no consensus regarding wave amplitude in the time domain. In the frequency domain, focusing on studies that elicited FFRs with stimuli of 170 ms or longer, participants with SNHL displayed a significantly smaller fundamental frequency (F0). Results regarding changes in the temporal fine structure (TFS) were inconsistent. Conclusion Patients with SNHL may require more time for processing (speech) stimuli, reflected in prolonged latencies. However, the exact timing of this delay remains unclear. Additionally, when presenting longer stimuli (≥ 170 ms), patients with SNHL show difficulties tracking the F0 of (speech) stimuli. No definite conclusions could be drawn on changes in wave amplitude in the time domain and the TFS in the frequency domain. Patient characteristics, acquisition parameters, and FFR outcome parameters differed greatly across studies. Future studies should be performed in larger and carefully matched subject groups, using longer stimuli presented at the same intensity in dB HL for both groups, or at a carefully determined maximum comfortable loudness level.

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Inner Ear Organoids: Strengths and Limitations

G Pianigiani,M Roccio

Publication date 09-02-2024


Inner ear organoids derived from differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells have recently gained momentum as tools to study inner ear development and developmental defects. An additional exciting aspect about this technology is represented by its translational potential, specifically, the use of organoids to validate therapeutics for hearing and balance restoration on human/patient-specific cells. This latter aspect will be briefly discussed here including opportunities and current limitations.

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ARO’s 47th Annual MidWinter Meeting in Anaheim 2024: podium and poster titles

Publication date 03-02-2024


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Correction: An Implantable Piezofilm Middle Ear Microphone: Performance in Human Cadaveric Temporal Bones

JZ Zhang,L Graf,A Banerjee,A Yeiser,CI McHugh,I Kymissis,JH Lang,ES Olson,HH Nakajima

Publication date 29-01-2024


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Insights Into Electrophysiological Metrics of Cochlear Health in Cochlear Implant Users Using a Computational Model

M Takanen,S Strahl,K Schwarz

Publication date 26-01-2024


Purpose The hearing outcomes of cochlear implant users depend on the functional status of the electrode-neuron interface inside the cochlea. This can be assessed by measuring electrically evoked compound action potentials (eCAPs). Variations in cochlear neural health and survival are reflected in eCAP-based metrics. The difficulty in translating promising results from animal studies into clinical use has raised questions about to what degree eCAP-based metrics are influenced by non-neural factors. Here, we addressed these questions using a computational model. Methods A 2-D computational model was designed to simulate how electrical signals from the stimulating electrode reach the auditory nerve fibers distributed along the cochlea, evoking action potentials that can be recorded as compound responses at the recording electrodes. Effects of physiologically relevant variations in neural survival and in electrode-neuron and stimulating-recording electrode distances on eCAP amplitude growth functions (AGFs) were investigated. Results In line with existing literature, the predicted eCAP AGF slopes and the inter-phase gap (IPG) effects depended on the neural survival, but only when the IPG effect was calculated as the difference between the slopes of the two AGFs expressed in linear input–output scale. As expected, shallower eCAP AGF slopes were obtained for increased stimulating-recording electrode distance and larger eCAP thresholds for greater electrode-neuron distance. These non-neural factors had also minor interference on the predicted IPG effect. Conclusions The model predictions demonstrate previously found dependencies of eCAP metrics on neural survival and non-neural aspects. The present findings confirm data from animal studies and provide insights into applying described metrics in clinical practice.

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Estimation of Cochlear Frequency Selectivity Using a Convolution Model of Forward-Masked Compound Action Potentials

F Deloche,S Parida,A Sivaprakasam,MG Heinz

Publication date 26-01-2024


Purpose Frequency selectivity is a fundamental property of the peripheral auditory system; however, the invasiveness of auditory nerve (AN) experiments limits its study in the human ear. Compound action potentials (CAPs) associated with forward masking have been suggested as an alternative to assess cochlear frequency selectivity. Previous methods relied on an empirical comparison of AN and CAP tuning curves in animal models, arguably not taking full advantage of the information contained in forward-masked CAP waveforms. Methods To improve the estimation of cochlear frequency selectivity based on the CAP, we introduce a convolution model to fit forward-masked CAP waveforms. The model generates masking patterns that, when convolved with a unitary response, can predict the masking of the CAP waveform induced by Gaussian noise maskers. Model parameters, including those characterizing frequency selectivity, are fine-tuned by minimizing waveform prediction errors across numerous masking conditions, yielding robust estimates. Results The method was applied to click-evoked CAPs at the round window of anesthetized chinchillas using notched-noise maskers with various notch widths and attenuations. The estimated quality factor Q10 as a function of center frequency is shown to closely match the average quality factor obtained from AN fiber tuning curves, without the need for an empirical correction factor. Conclusion This study establishes a moderately invasive method for estimating cochlear frequency selectivity with potential applicability to other animal species or humans. Beyond the estimation of frequency selectivity, the proposed model proved to be remarkably accurate in fitting forward-masked CAP responses and could be extended to study more complex aspects of cochlear signal processing (e.g., compressive nonlinearities).

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Auditory Cortical Plasticity in Patients with Single-Sided Deafness Before and After Cochlear Implantation

N Peter,V Treyer,R Probst,T Kleinjung

Publication date 22-01-2024


Purpose This study investigated neuroplastic changes induced by postlingual single-sided deafness (SSD) and the effects of a cochlear implantation for the deaf ear. Neural processing of acoustic signals from the normal hearing ear to the brain was studied before and after implantation using a positron emission tomography (PET)/CT scanner. Methods Eight patients with postlingual SSD received a cochlear implant (CI) in a prospective clinical trial. Dynamic imaging was performed in a PET/CT scanner using radioactively labeled water (15OH2O) to localize changes in the regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with and without an auditory task of logatomes containing speech-like elements without meaningful context. The normal hearing ear was stimulated before implantation and after the use of the cochlear implant for at least 8 months (mean 13.5, range 8.1–26.6). Eight age- and gender-matched subjects with normal hearing on both sides served as healthy control subjects (HCS). Results When the normal hearing ear of SSD patients was stimulated before CI implantation, the 15OH2O-PET showed a more symmetrical rCBF in the auditory regions of both hemispheres in comparison to the HCS. The use of CI increased the asymmetry index (AI) in six of eight patients indicating an increase of activity of the contralateral hemisphere. Non-parametric statistics revealed a significant difference in the AI between patients before CI implantation and HCS (p < .01), which disappeared after CI implantation (p = .195). Conclusion The functional neuroimaging data showed a tendency towards normalization of neuronal activity after CI implantation, which supports the effectiveness of CI in SSD patients. Trial Registration Clinical Trials.
gov Identifier: NCT01749592, December 13, 2012.

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Health-Related Quality of Life in Subjective, Chronic Tinnitus Patients: A Scoping Review

S Demoen,E Cardon,L Jacquemin,A Timmermans,V Van Rompaey,A Gilles,S Michiels

Publication date 22-01-2024


Purpose This scoping review aims to assess whether the severity or distress of subjective tinnitus is negatively associated or correlated with the level of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). A second objective is to examine whether tinnitus patients score differently on HRQoL questionnaires in comparison to subjects without tinnitus and whether HRQoL differs between specific subgroups of tinnitus. Methods This scoping review adheres to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines (PRISMA guidelines): the statement and extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR). The following databases were consulted (on the 20th of October 2023): Pub Med, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and Scopus. The search string was composed of the terms tinnitus, HRQoL, and synonyms. A double-blinded screening for eligibility was performed, first on the title and abstract and subsequently on the full-text articles. Studies were considered eligible if they looked at HRQoL questionnaire results for adult patients (> 18 years) reporting chronic (> 3 months), subjective tinnitus as a primary complaint. Results In total, 37 studies with a total sample size of 33,900 participants were included in this scoping review, with some studies answering multiple study objectives. Seventeen studies demonstrated the presence of a significant negative correlation between tinnitus-related distress and HRQoL. Two studies indicated that HRQoL is mediated by tinnitus-related distress. Eighteen studies found that, in general, patients with tinnitus scored significantly lower on HRQoL questionnaires in comparison to subjects without tinnitus. Nineteen studies demonstrated that subgroups of patients with more severe tinnitus complaints or specific additional complaints scored worse on HRQoL questionnaires. Conclusion Based on the current literature, chronic subjective tinnitus–related distress has a significant impact on health-related quality of life. In addition, subjects without tinnitus generally score significantly higher on HRQoL questionnaires than patients with tinnitus. The heterogeneity in outcome measures between studies precludes meta-analysis. Increased homogeneity in the choice of HRQoL questionnaires would make a comparison between studies possible, which would give valuable information on both a clinical and an economic level, guiding future tinnitus treatment.
Registration The protocol for the scoping review is registered at Open Science Framework: https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.
IO/F5S9C.

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An Implantable Piezofilm Middle Ear Microphone: Performance in Human Cadaveric Temporal Bones

JZ Zhang,L Graf,A Banerjee,A Yeiser,CI McHugh,I Kymissis,JH Lang,ES Olson,HH Nakajima

Publication date 18-01-2024


Purpose One of the major reasons that totally implantable cochlear microphones are not readily available is the lack of good implantable microphones. An implantable microphone has the potential to provide a range of benefits over external microphones for cochlear implant users including the filtering ability of the outer ear, cosmetics, and usability in all situations. This paper presents results from experiments in human cadaveric ears of a piezofilm microphone concept under development as a possible component of a future implantable microphone system for use with cochlear implants. This microphone is referred to here as a drum microphone (Drum Mic) that senses the robust and predictable motion of the umbo, the tip of the malleus. Methods The performance was measured by five Drum Mics inserted in four different human cadaveric temporal bones. Sensitivity, linearity, bandwidth, and equivalent input noise were measured during these experiments using a sound stimulus and measurement setup. Results The sensitivity of the Drum Mics was found to be tightly clustered across different microphones and ears despite differences in umbo and middle ear anatomy. The Drum Mics were shown to behave linearly across a large dynamic range (46 dB SPL to 100 dB SPL) across a wide bandwidth (100 Hz to 8 k Hz). The equivalent input noise (over a bandwidth of 0.1–10 k Hz) of the Drum Mic and amplifier referenced to the ear canal was measured to be about 54 dB SPL in the temporal bone experiment and estimated to be 46 dB SPL after accounting for the pressure gain of the outer ear. Conclusion The results demonstrate that the Drum Mic behaves robustly across ears and fabrication. The equivalent input noise performance (related to the lowest level of sound measurable) was shown to approach that of commercial hearing aid microphones. To advance this demonstration of the Drum Mic concept to a future prototype implantable in humans, work on encapsulation, biocompatibility, and connectorization will be required.

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Tinnitus: A Dimensionally Segregated, yet Perceptually Integrated Heterogeneous Disorder

A Yasoda-Mohan,K Adcock,SL Leong,E Meade,B Langguth,M Schecklmann,H Lim,S Vanneste

Publication date 18-01-2024


Objectives Tinnitus subtypes are proposed to lie on a continuum of different symptom dimensions rather than be categorical. However, there is no comprehensive empirical data showing this complex relationship between different tinnitus symptoms. The objective of this study is to provide empirical evidence for the dimensional nature of tinnitus and how different auditory and non-auditory symptoms interact with each other through complex interactions. We do this using graph theory, a mathematical tool that empirically maps this complex interaction. This way, graph theory can be utilised to highlight a new and possibly important outlook on how we can understand the heterogeneous nature of tinnitus. Design In the current study, we use the screening databases of the Treatment Evaluation of Neuromodulation for Tinnitus-Stage A1 (TENT-A1) and A2 (TENT-A2) randomised trials to delineate the dimensional relationship between different clinical measures of tinnitus as a secondary data analysis. We first calculate the empirical relationship by computing the partial correlation. Following this, we use different measures of centrality to describe the contribution of different clinical measures to the overall network. We also calculate the stability of the network and compare the similarity and differences between TENT-A1 and TENT-A2. Results Components of the auditory subnetwork (loudness discomfort level, sound sensitivity, average hearing loss and high frequency hearing loss) are highly inter-connected in both networks with sound sensitivity and loudness discomfort level being highly influential with high measures of centrality. Furthermore, the relationship between the densely connected auditory subnetwork with tinnitus-related distress seems to vary at different levels of distress, hearing loss, duration and age of the participants. Conclusion Our findings provide first-time evidence for tinnitus varying in a dimensional fashion illustrating the heterogeneity of this phantom percept and its ability to be perceptually integrated, yet behaviourally segregated on different symptomatic dimensions.

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About the Genetic Contribution to Chronic Dizziness and Episodic Vertigo

JA Lopez-Escamez

Publication date 01-12-2023


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Genome-Wide Association Study of Chronic Dizziness in the Elderly Identifies Loci Implicating MLLT10, BPTF, LINC01224, and ROS1

Geen auteurs bekend

Publication date 01-12-2023


Purpose Chronic age-related imbalance is a common cause of falls and subsequent death in the elderly and can arise from dysfunction of the vestibular system, an elegant neuroanatomical group of pathways that mediates human perception of acceleration, gravity, and angular head motion. Studies indicate that 27–46% of the risk of age-related chronic imbalance is genetic; nevertheless, the underlying genes remain unknown. Methods The cohort consisted of 50,339 cases and 366,900 controls in the Million Veteran Program. The phenotype comprised cases with two ICD diagnoses of vertigo or dizziness at least 6 months apart, excluding acute or recurrent vertiginous syndromes and other non-vestibular disorders. Genome-wide association studies were performed as individual logistic regressions on European, African American, and Hispanic ancestries followed by trans-ancestry meta-analysis. Downstream analysis included case-case-GWAS, fine mapping, probabilistic colocalization of significant variants and genes with eQTLs, and functional analysis of significant hits. Results Two significant loci were identified in Europeans, another in the Hispanic population, and two additional in trans-ancestry meta-analysis, including three novel loci. Fine mapping revealed credible sets of intronic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in MLLT10 - a histone methyl transferase cofactor, BPTF - a subunit of a nucleosome remodeling complex implicated in neurodevelopment, and LINC01224 - a proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase. Conclusion Despite the difficulties of phenotyping the nature of chronic imbalance, we replicated two loci from previous vertigo GWAS studies and identified three novel loci. Findings suggest candidates for further study and ultimate treatment of this common elderly disorder.

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Noise-Induced Hearing Threshold Shift Correlated with Body Weight and External-Ear Amplification in Chinchilla: a Preliminary Analysis

SK Grinn,M Trevino,E Lobarinas

Publication date 01-12-2023


Background External-ear amplification (EEA) has been shown to vary from 5–19 dB-A in large datasets of pediatric, adolescent, and adult human participants. However, variable EEA is an overlooked characteristic that likely plays a role in individual noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) susceptibility. A noise exposure varying 5–19 dB-A translates to high-EEA individuals theoretically experiencing 3–4 times greater NIHL risk than low-EEA individuals. Objective The purpose of this preliminary analysis was to test the hypothesis that higher EEA is correlated with increased noise-induced threshold shift susceptibility. Design Nine chinchillas were exposed to 4-k Hz octave-band noise at 89 dB-SPL for 24 h. Auditory brainstem response thresholds were obtained pre-exposure, 24-h post-exposure, and 4-week post-exposure. Relationships between EEA and threshold shift were analyzed. Results Open-ear EEA ranged 11–19 dB-SPL, and occluded-ear EEA ranged 10–21 dB-SPL. Higher occluded-ear EEA was correlated with increased NIHL susceptibility (p = 0.04), as was lower body weight (p = 0.01). Male animals exhibited more threshold shift than female animals (p = 0.02), lower body weight than female animals (p = 0.02), and higher occluded-ear EEA (male mean = 18 dB; female mean = 15 dB). Conclusions Taken together, increased threshold shift susceptibility was observed in the smallest animals, animals with the highest occluded-ear EEA, and in male animals (which tended to have higher occluded-ear EEA). Given the established relationship between smaller body size and higher occluded-ear EEA, these preliminary results suggest that body size (and occluded-ear EEA; a function of body size) could be a potential, underlying driver of NIHL susceptibility differences, rather than true sex differences.

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Spectral Grouping of Electrically Encoded Sound Predicts Speech-in-Noise Performance in Cochlear Implantees

I Choi,PE Gander,JI Berger,J Woo,MH Choy,J Hong,S Colby,B McMurray,TD Griffiths

Publication date 01-12-2023


Objectives Cochlear implant (CI) users exhibit large variability in understanding speech in noise. Past work in CI users found that spectral and temporal resolution correlates with speech-in-noise ability, but a large portion of variance remains unexplained. Recent work on normal-hearing listeners showed that the ability to group temporally and spectrally coherent tones in a complex auditory scene predicts speech-in-noise ability independently of the audiogram, highlighting a central mechanism for auditory scene analysis that contributes to speech-in-noise. The current study examined whether the auditory grouping ability also contributes to speech-in-noise understanding in CI users. Design Forty-seven post-lingually deafened CI users were tested with psychophysical measures of spectral and temporal resolution, a stochastic figure-ground task that depends on the detection of a figure by grouping multiple fixed frequency elements against a random background, and a sentence-in-noise measure. Multiple linear regression was used to predict sentence-in-noise performance from the other tasks. Results No co-linearity was found between any predictor variables. All three predictors (spectral and temporal resolution plus the figure-ground task) exhibited significant contribution in the multiple linear regression model, indicating that the auditory grouping ability in a complex auditory scene explains a further proportion of variance in CI users’ speech-in-noise performance that was not explained by spectral and temporal resolution. Conclusion Measures of cross-frequency grouping reflect an auditory cognitive mechanism that determines speech-in-noise understanding independently of cochlear function. Such measures are easily implemented clinically as predictors of CI success and suggest potential strategies for rehabilitation based on training with non-speech stimuli.

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Screening for Circulating Inflammatory Proteins Does Not Reveal Plasma Biomarkers of Constant Tinnitus

CR Cederroth,MG Hong,MB Freydin,NK Edvall,N Trpchevska,C Jarach,W Schlee,JM Schwenk,JA Lopez-Escamez,S Gallus,B Canlon,J Bulla,FMK Williams

Publication date 01-12-2023


Background and Objective Tinnitus would benefit from an objective biomarker. The goal of this study is to identify plasma biomarkers of constant and chronic tinnitus among selected circulating inflammatory proteins. Methods A case–control retrospective study on 548 cases with constant tinnitus and 548 matched controls from the Swedish Tinnitus Outreach Project (STOP), whose plasma samples were examined using Olink’s Inflammatory panel. Replication and meta-analysis were performed using the same method on samples from the TwinsUK cohort. Participants from Life Gene, whose blood was collected in Stockholm and Umeå, were recruited to STOP for a tinnitus subtyping study. An age and sex matching was performed at the individual level. TwinsUK participants (n = 928) were selected based on self-reported tinnitus status over 2 to 10 years. Primary outcomes include normalized levels for 96 circulating proteins, which were used as an index test. No reference standard was available in this study. Results After adjustment for age, sex, BMI, smoking, hearing loss, and laboratory site, the top proteins identified were FGF-21, MCP4, GDNF, CXCL9, and MCP-1; however, these were no longer statistically significant after correction for multiple testing. Stratification by sex did not yield any significant associations. Similarly, associations with hearing loss or other tinnitus-related comorbidities such as stress, anxiety, depression, hyperacusis, temporomandibular joint disorders, and headache did not yield any significant associations. Analysis in the TwinsUK failed in replicating the top candidates. Meta-analysis of STOP and TwinsUK did not reveal any significant association. Using elastic net regularization, models exhibited poor predictive capacity tinnitus based on inflammatory markers sensitivity = 0.52 (95% CI 0.47–0.57), specificity = 0.53 (0.48–0.58), positive predictive value = 0.52 (0.47–0.56), negative predictive values = 0.53 (0.49–0.58), and AUC = 0.53 (0.49–0.56). Discussion Our results did not identify significant associations of the selected inflammatory proteins with constant tinnitus. Future studies examining longitudinal relations among those with more severe tinnitus and using more recent expanded proteomics platforms and sampling of cerebrospinal fluid could increase the likelihood of identifying relevant molecular biomarkers.

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Eavesdropping on Tinnitus Using MEG: Lessons Learned and Future Perspectives

L Reisinger,G Demarchi,N Weisz

Publication date 01-12-2023


Tinnitus has been widely investigated in order to draw conclusions about the underlying causes and altered neural activity in various brain regions. Existing studies have based their work on different tinnitus frameworks, ranging from a more local perspective on the auditory cortex to the inclusion of broader networks and various approaches towards tinnitus perception and distress. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) provides a powerful tool for efficiently investigating tinnitus and aberrant neural activity both spatially and temporally. However, results are inconclusive, and studies are rarely mapped to theoretical frameworks. The purpose of this review was to firstly introduce MEG to interested researchers and secondly provide a synopsis of the current state. We divided recent tinnitus research in MEG into study designs using resting state measurements and studies implementing tone stimulation paradigms. The studies were categorized based on their theoretical foundation, and we outlined shortcomings as well as inconsistencies within the different approaches. Finally, we provided future perspectives on how to benefit more efficiently from the enormous potential of MEG. We suggested novel approaches from a theoretical, conceptual, and methodological point of view to allow future research to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of tinnitus and its underlying processes.

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