Issue N# 4 - 2005
Neuroplasticity in the auditory system
Authors : P. Gil-Loyzaga (Madrid)
Ref. : Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol. 2005;126,4:203-207.
Article published in english
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An increasing interest on neuroplasticity and nerve regene-ration within the auditory receptor and pathway has developed in recent years. The receptor and the auditory pathway are controlled by highly complex circuits that appear during embryonic development. During this early maturation process of the auditory sensory elements, we observe the development of two types of nerve fibers: permanent fibers that will remain to reach full-term maturity and other transient fibers that will ultimately disappear. Both stable and transitory fibers however, as well as developing sensory cells, express, and probably release, their respective neuro-transmitters that could be involved in neuroplasticity. Cell culture experiments have added significant information; the in vitro administration of glutamate or GABA to isolated spiral ganglion neurons clearly modified neural development. Neuroplasticity has been also found in the adult. Nerve regeneration and neuroplasticity have been demonstrated in the adult auditory receptors as well as throughout the auditory pathway. Neuroplasticity studies could prove interesting in the elaboration of current or future therapy strategies (e.g.: cochlear implants or stem cells), but also to really understand the pathogenesis of auditory or language diseases (e.g.: deafness, tinnitus, dyslexia, etc.).
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