Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 49 Number 7, 2012
   Pages 1059 — 1074

Abstract — Implications of blast exposure for central auditory function: A review


Frederick J. Gallun, PhD;1-2* M. Samantha Lewis, PhD;1-2 Robert L. Folmer, PhD;1-2 Anna C. Diedesch, AuD;1 Lina R. Kubli, MS;3 Daniel J. McDermott, MS;1 Therese C. Walden, AuD;3 Stephen A. Fausti, PhD;1-2 Henry L. Lew, MD, PhD;4 Marjorie R. Leek, PhD1-2

1Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Rehabilitation Research and Development National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR), Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR; 2Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR; 3Audiology and Speech Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), Bethesda, MD; 4Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), Richmond, VA

Abstract — Auditory system functions, from peripheral sensitivity to central processing capacities, are all at risk from a blast event. Accurate encoding of auditory patterns in time, frequency, and space are required for a clear understanding of speech and accurate localization of sound sources in environments with background noise, multiple sound sources, and/or reverberation. Further work is needed to refine the battery of clinical tests sensitive to the sorts of central auditory dysfunction observed in individuals with blast exposure. Treatment options include low-gain hearing aids, remote-microphone technology, and auditory-training regimens, but clinical evidence does not yet exist for recommending one or more of these options. As this population ages, the natural aging process and other potential brain injuries (such as stroke and blunt trauma) may combine with blast-related brain changes to produce a population for which the current clinical diagnostic and treatment tools may prove inadequate. It is important to maintain an updated understanding of the scope of the issues present in this population and to continue to identify those solutions that can provide measurable improvements in the lives of Veterans who have been exposed to high-intensity blasts during the course of their military service.

Keywords: auditory dysfunction, auditory processing disorder, blast, central auditory dysfunction, central auditory processing, central auditory system, hearing loss, rehabilitation, traumatic brain injury, veteran.

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 49, No. 7

This article and any supplemental material should be cited as follows:
Gallun FJ, Lewis MS, Folmer RL, Diedesch AC, Kubli LR, McDermott DJ, Walden TC, Fausti SA, Lew HL, Leek MR. Implications of blast exposure for central auditory function: A review. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2012;49(7): 1059-74.

ResearcherID: Frederick J. Gallun, PhD: G-3792-2012


Last Reviewed or Updated  Wednesday, October 24, 2012 12:31 PM

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