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Youngest patient worldwide to have auditory implant in the brain stem
Date:2/26/2008

This release is available in Spanish.

A team of ear, nose and throat specialists and neurosurgeons at the University Hospital of Navarra, led by doctors Manuel Manrique Rodrguez, specialist in ear, nose and throat surgery and Bartolom 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
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Contact: Garazi Andonegi
garazi@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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