Physiological and Neurobiological Bases of Age-Related Hearing Loss: Biotherapeutic Implications Purpose The aim of this study was to highlight growing evidence of interactions between hormones and the structure and function of the auditory system. Method Recent studies implicating sex hormones and other natural hormones in the modulation of hearing status in age-related hearing loss were reviewed. ... Research Forum
Research Forum  |   December 01, 2013
Physiological and Neurobiological Bases of Age-Related Hearing Loss: Biotherapeutic Implications
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Robert D. Frisina
    University of South Florida, Tampa
  • D. Robert Frisina
    University of South Florida, Tampa
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Robert D. Frisina: rfrisina@usf.edu
  • Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Research Forum
Research Forum   |   December 01, 2013
Physiological and Neurobiological Bases of Age-Related Hearing Loss: Biotherapeutic Implications
American Journal of Audiology, December 2013, Vol. 22, 299-302. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/13-0003)
History: Received January 3, 2013 , Revised April 25, 2013 , Accepted May 6, 2013
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2013, Vol. 22, 299-302. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/13-0003)
History: Received January 3, 2013; Revised April 25, 2013; Accepted May 6, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The aim of this study was to highlight growing evidence of interactions between hormones and the structure and function of the auditory system.

Method Recent studies implicating sex hormones and other natural hormones in the modulation of hearing status in age-related hearing loss were reviewed.

Results Progesterone, a sex hormone, has been shown to have negative effects on the hearing of older women and aging mice, whereas, in contrast, estrogen was found in some cases to have a positive influence. Aldosterone, used in studies of animal models of autoimmune hearing loss, slowed the progression of hearing loss. Follow-up studies in humans revealed that auditory measures varied as serum aldosterone levels shifted within the normal range, in otherwise healthy older subjects. This was true for simple as well as complex auditory tasks (i.e., sound spatial processing), suggesting benefits of aldosterone to postperipheral auditory processing as well. In addition, evidence suggests that this functional hearing improvement occurred in association with anatomical improvements to the stria vascularis—an important site of anatomical change in presbycusis.

Conclusions Audiology is now at the point where the search for biomedical interventions to modulate or prevent age-related hearing loss can move forward. Such interventions would require multidisciplinary collaborative initiatives by researchers in such areas as drug development, anatomy, auditory physiological and perceptual testing, and drug microdelivery systems.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Aging Grant P01 AG009524. We thank Joseph Walton, Xiaoxia Zhu, Bo Ding, Mary D'Souza, Sherif Tadros, and Susan Frisina for collaborative contributions leading up to the present article; we also thank Daria Dixon for project support.
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