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Poorer Speech Reception Threshold in Noise Is Associated With Lower Brain Volume in Auditory and Cognitive Processing Regions
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
Natl Acoust Labs, Australia; HEARing CRC, Australia.
Natl Acoust Labs, Australia; HEARing CRC, Australia.
Macquarie Univ, Australia.
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, ISSN 1092-4388, E-ISSN 1558-9102, Vol. 62, no 4, p. 1117-1130Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Hearing loss is associated with changes in brain volume in regions supporting auditory and cognitive processing. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a systematic association between hearing ability and brain volume in cross-sectional data from a large nonclinical cohort of middle-aged adults available from the UK Biobank Resource (http://www.ukbiobank.ac.uk). Method: We performed a set of regression analyses to determine the association between speech reception threshold in noise (SRTn) and global brain volume as well as predefined regions of interest (ROIs) based on T1-weighted structural images, controlling for hearing-related comorbidities and cognition as well as demographic factors. In a 2nd set of analyses, we additionally controlled for hearing aid (HA) use. We predicted statistically significant associations globally and in ROIs including auditory and cognitive processing regions, possibly modulated by HA use. Results: Whole-brain gray matter volume was significantly lower for individuals with poorer SRTn. Furthermore, the volume of 9 predicted ROIs including both auditory and cognitive processing regions was lower for individuals with poorer SRTn. The greatest percentage difference (-0.57%) in ROI volume relating to a 1 SD worsening of SRTn was found in the left superior temporal gyrus. HA use did not substantially modulate the pattern of association between brain volume and SRTn. Conclusions: In a large middle-aged nonclinical population, poorer hearing ability is associated with lower brain volume globally as well as in cortical and subcortical regions involved in auditory and cognitive processing, but there was no conclusive evidence that this effect is moderated by HA use. This pattern of results supports the notion that poor hearing leads to reduced volume in brain regions recruited during speech understanding under challenging conditions. These findings should be tested in future longitudinal, experimental studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER SPEECH-LANGUAGE-HEARING ASSOC , 2019. Vol. 62, no 4, p. 1117-1130
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-157234DOI: 10.1044/2018_JSLHR-H-ASCC7-18-0142ISI: 000466152400003PubMedID: 31026199OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-157234DiVA, id: diva2:1324209
Conference
7th International and Interdisciplinary Research Conference on Aging and Speech Communication
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council [2017-06092]; Linnaeus Centre HEAD [349-2007-8654]; HEARing Cooperative Research Centre; Australian Business Cooperative Research Centres Programme; Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing in Australia

Available from: 2019-06-13 Created: 2019-06-13 Last updated: 2019-10-10

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