Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

University Hospital of Navarra operates on youngest patient worldwide to have auditory implant in the brain stem

26.02.2008
A team of ear, nose and throat specialists and neurosurgeons at the University Hospital of Navarra, led by doctors Manuel Manrique Rodríguez, specialist in ear, nose and throat surgery and Bartolomé Bejarano Herruzo, specialist in paediatric neurosurgery, have successfully operated on a 13 month-old girl from Murcia, who had been born deaf due to the lack of auditory nerves. She is the youngest patient in the world who has received an auditory implant in the brain stem. As a result of the operation, the child has begun to hear and started language development.

Previously, the medical centre had carried out, also successfully, a similar procedure on girl of eight years. Throughout the world there have only been 38 brain stem implants in children under the age of 12.

In the case in hand, the child was born with a congenital illness characterised by the absence of the cochlear (auditory) nerves which have the task of transmitting to the brain the sound stimuli received by the auditory passage from the exterior. It is notable that the rate of this disorder in the overall population is very low, estimated at one in every 100,000 newly born babies.

Surgical procedure

The auditory nerves which, in the case of the girl from Murcia were nonexistent, connect the most external part of the auditory passage (outer, middle and inner ear) with the cochlear nuclei located in the brain stem, one of the centres of the auditory passage where information received from the outside is processed.

The absence of the cochlear or auditory nerve makes it impossible for the brain of those affected by this pathology to process the sound arriving from the exterior. This is why the treatment consists of directly stimulating the cochlear nuclei and the operation involves implanting electrodes onto these nuclei, in the brain stem of the brain, so that the complete auditory passage function is restored, enabling the electric impulses to arrive at the auditory cortex (of the brain), where meaning is conferred to the stimuli arriving.

Thus, the first phase of the operation, undertaken by the University Hospital team last October, involved implanting a plate of electrodes into the cochlear nuclei of the child. In order to place these electrodes there, access to the brain stem was effected by means of open cranial surgery of 3cm x 3 cm, thus enabling the brain surgeon to slightly retract the cerebellum to gain access to the exact spot where the implant had to be placed.

Once the electrodes’ system is installed and while the operation was taking place, stimulation tests on the device were undertaken in order to confirm the exact position where it had to be placed. One by one the 22 electrodes making up the implant were stimulated in order to check the auditory response. To this end, electroneurophysiological control was carried out in which Audiology and Neurophysiology teams took part. This intraoperational control of the stimulation of the electrodes and the auditory response obtained by each one of these enabled to reposition the implant ‘in situ’, during the operation, until getting the right spot.

Very important activations

The operations with children carried out to date at the University Hospital have achieved highly favourable activations of the electrodes. Generally speaking, of the 22 electrodes implanted, the average activation without side effects is about 10. In both the operations they have undertaken they managed to stimulate 15 and 18 electrodes respectively.

During this operation a receiver-emitter was placed subcutaneously in the head of the patient and connected by a wire to the electrode device. This receiver is what obtains the sound of the other device located on the outside of the head of the child and which transmits sound to the interior by radio-frequency waves.

The external apparatus also has a microphone located behind the ear of the patient and which, in turn, is connected to a processor, required to modulate the characteristics of the sound signals received through the microphone.

The task of the internal receptor is to decode the signal received from the exterior and transform it into electrical impulses that arrive codified at each one of the electrodes. This is when the child receives a stimulus that propagates through the auditory passage to the brain, where the electrical impulses received are processed.

In the last phase of the procedure, carried out in January 2008, the parameters of stimulation to be imprinted in the implanted device, namely intensity and velocity, were determined.

Auditiory verificatons

During the post-operational monitoring of this patient, it was observed that the child has begun to receive sounds and has even started to produce them. This is highly encouraging. The specialists have emphasised the importance of carrying out these operations at an early age when the capacity for learning is greater and the functional structure of the auditory centres is better prepared for receiving acoustic information.

Garazi Andonegi | alfa
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Berri_Kod=1646&hizk=I

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht Overdosing on Calcium
19.06.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Carbon nanotube optics provide optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries

19.06.2018 | Life Sciences

New material for splitting water

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>