auditory brainstem response (ABR)

auditory brainstem response (ABR)

Could Newborn Hearing Screenings Be Used to Identify Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

In a recent study published in Autism Research, researchers at the University of Miami and Harvard Medical School suggest that newborn auditory brainstem response (ABR) screening results may be used as a biomarker for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (Miron et al, 2020). 

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Close-up photo of Kumbuka.

An Encounter with Kumbuka

Sumit (SD): Thank you, Ms. Christine Cook and Dr. Marissa Ramsier, for agreeing to answer a few questions about your recent experience evaluating the gorilla Kumbuka’s hearing and other issues related to primate hearing. Our publication is read primarily by audiologists and others associated with hearing health care. Your expertise and experience will be of great interest to our readers. I am also pleased to report that this conversation about Kumbuka’s evaluation will be accompanied by a web feature about primate hearing in general.

Topic(s): pediatric audiologist, biological anthropologist, Kumbuka, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, gorilla, hearing screening, otoacoustic emmissions, auditory brainstem response (ABR)

Image of care giver reading to young child (fizkes/

Learning to Listen: Audiologists Are Pivotal

Catherine Palmer, in her General Assembly Speech at the Academy’s 2019 annual conference, inspired us by emphasizing that audiologists have an incredibly important and expanded role in the health and well-being of the people we serve. 

“Audiologists start a chain of events for a child that will promote reading, education, and employment,” she said in her address. 

That chain of events starts with a child learning to listen and learning spoken language. This article will address the audiologist’s role in those events from a very practical perspective.

Topic(s): Audiologist, Professional Development, auditory information, auditory neural pathways, Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants (CI), Parents’ Evaluation of Aural/Oral Performance of Children (PEACH), auditory brainstem response (ABR), visual reinforcement audiology (VRA)

Female audiologist testing young boy hearing while he is playing with blocks (Microgen/

Behavioral Techniques in Pediatric Audiology

The standard behavioral procedures used to assess the hearing of very young children are powerful tools. Yet, even in the hands of a skilled clinician, they are nearly worthless unless the child is ready to be tested. Thus, it is helpful—indeed necessary—to draw on techniques that get the child to do what we want the child to do.

Topic(s): Psychology, Professional Development, immittance, otoacoustic emissions (OAEs), tympanometry, Audiometric Test, Acoustic, auditory brainstem response (ABR)


Publication Issue: Audiology Today January/February 2020

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Post-Menopausal Hormonal Changes and Processing of Auditory Information

Could the hormonal changes associated with menopause affect a woman’s ability to process auditory information?

Trott et al (2019) compared performance on tests of central auditory function between 14 pre-menopausal women (mean age = 30 years) and 14 peri- or post-menopausal women (mean age = 54 years). All subject had pure-tone hearing thresholds of 25 dB HL or better at 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz in both of the ears.

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Are We Breaking the World’s Most Powerful Pair of Glasses?

Have you seen the movie "Finding Dory"? In one of the many exciting sequences, the protagonist Dory needs the help of Bailey the beluga whale to navigate through a maze of pipes. In a later, and even more exciting sequence, Bailey helps Dory keep track of a moving truck in which Dory's friends Nemo and Merlin inadvertently became captured.

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ABR as Screener for ASD?

A recent area of research is exploring the application of auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing in identification of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). 

Currently, ASD is typically diagnosed between the ages of 2 and 4 years. Earlier identification may allow for implementation of intervention at critical time periods of development. A review of the literature suggests that children with ASD often exhibit prolonged ABR latencies compared to controls, but there are several studies that do not support this relationship.

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Sleep Apnea and Hearing Loss: Is There a Relationship?

Do you suffer from sleep apnea? Know someone who does? See patients who do? If you said "yes" to any of these questions, you might be interested in a soon-to-be-published article by Matsumura and colleagues titled Evaluation of Peripheral Auditory Pathways and Brainstem in Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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Children with ANSD Fitted with Hearing Aids

Intervention for children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) represents a significant challenge in pediatric audiology. A critical tool for the fitting of amplification in young pediatric patients, the auditory brainstem response (ABR), is compromised in this population for estimation of behavioral thresholds. Despite compromised ABR responses, cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEP) can often be recorded from ANSD patients, and there is emerging research in the application of CAEP for estimation of behavioral thresholds in this population (He et al. 2013).

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