Deafness alters auditory nerve fibre responses to cochlear implant stimulation.
ABSTRACT Here we characterized the relationship between duration of sensorineural hearing loss and the response of the auditory nerve to electrical stimulus rate. Electrophysiological recordings were made from undeafened guinea pigs and those ototoxically deafened for either 5 weeks or 6 months. Auditory neuron survival decreased significantly with the duration of deafness. Extracellular recordings were made from auditory nerve fibres responding to biphasic, charge-balanced current pulses delivered at rates of 20 and 200 pulses/s via a monopolar scala tympani stimulating electrode. The response to 20 pulses/s electrical stimulation of the deafened cochlea exhibited a decrease in spike latency, unaltered temporal jitter and unaltered dynamic range (of nerve firing rate against stimulus current), and a reduction in threshold after 6 months of deafness. The response to a 200-pulse/s stimulus was similar except that the dynamic range was greater than with 20 pulses/s and was also greater in deafened animals than in undeafened animals. Deafness and pulse rate are related; in deaf animals spike recovery appears to be complete between successive stimulus pulses at a low rate (20 pulses/s), but incomplete between pulses at a moderate pulse rate (200 pulses/s). These results suggest that changes in the function of individual auditory nerve fibres after deafness may affect clinical responses during high-rate stimulation such as that used in contemporary speech processing strategies, but not during lower rate stimulation such as that used to record evoked potentials.
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ABSTRACT: Neural prostheses use charge recovery mechanisms to ensure the electrical stimulus is charge balanced. Nucleus cochlear implants short all stimulating electrodes between pulses in order to achieve charge balance, resulting in a small residual direct current (DC). In the present study we sought to characterize the variation of this residual DC with different charge recovery mechanisms, stimulation modes, and stimulation parameters, and by modeling, to gain insight into the underlying mechanisms. In an acute study with anaesthetised guinea pigs, DC was measured in four platinum intracochlear electrodes stimulated using a Nucleus C124M cochlear implant at moderate to high pulse rates (1200-14,500 pulses/s) and stimulus intensities (0.2-1.75 mA at 26-200 microseconds/phase). Both monopolar and bipolar stimulation modes were used, and the effects of shorting or combining a capacitor with shorting for charge recovery were investigated. Residual DC increased as a function of stimulus rate, stimulus intensity, and pulse width. DC was lower for monopolar than bipolar stimulation, and lower still with capacitively coupled monopolar stimulation. Our model suggests that residual DC is a consequence of Faradaic reactions which allow charge to leak through the electrode tissue interface. Such reactions and charge leakage are still present when capacitors are used to achieve charge recovery, but anodic and cathodic reactions are balanced in such a way that the net charge leakage is zero.IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering 05/1999; 46(4):461-70. · 2.28 Impact Factor