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Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Volume 43 Number 1, January/February 2006
Pages 91 — 98


Abstract - Some effects of multiple sclerosis on speech perception in noise: Preliminary findings

M. Samantha Lewis, PhD;1-2* David J. Lilly, PhD;1 Michele Hutter, MS;1 Dennis N. Bourdette, MD;3-5
Julie Saunders, RN, MSN, ANP;3-4 Stephen A. Fausti, PhD1-2

1Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland VA Medical Center (VAMC), Portland, OR; Departments of 2Otolaryngology and 3Neurology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR; 4Multiple Sclerosis Center of Oregon, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR; 5Department of Neurology, Portland VAMC, Portland, OR
Abstract-The present investigation examined speech perception in noise of adults with and without multiple sclerosis (MS). Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) sentences were presented at a constant level of 65 dBA Leq (equivalent continuous noise level [4 dB exchange rate]) from a loudspeaker located at 0-degree horizontal azimuth and 1.2 m from the study participant. Uncorrelated multitalker babble was presented from four loudspeakers positioned at 45-, 135-, 225-, and 315-degree azimuths and 1.7 m from the study participant. The starting presentation level for the babble was 55 dBA Leq. The level of the babble was increased systematically in 1 dB steps until the subject obtained 0% key words correct on the IEEE sentences. Results revealed a significant difference in speech perception between the two groups at nine signal-to-noise ratios. Some clinical implications of these results are discussed.
Key words: adults, auditory function, auditory processing, hearing, IEEE sentences, multiple sclerosis, multitalker babble, noise, signal-to-noise ratio, speech perception.

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