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      Wistar rats: a forgotten model of age-related hearing loss


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          Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is one of the most frequent sensory impairments in senescence and is a source of important socio-economic consequences. Understanding the pathological responses that occur in the central auditory pathway of patients who suffer from this disability is vital to improve its diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, the goal of this study was to characterize age-related modifications in auditory brainstem responses (ABR) and to determine whether these functional responses might be accompanied by an imbalance between excitation and inhibition in the cochlear nucleus of Wistar rats. To do so, ABR recordings at different frequencies and immunohistochemistry for the vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1) and the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) in the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) were performed in young, middle-aged and old male Wistar rats. The results demonstrate that there was a significant increase in the auditory thresholds, a significant decrease in the amplitudes and an increase in the latencies of the ABR waves as the age of the rat increased. Additionally, there were decreases in VGLUT1 and VGAT immunostaining in the VCN of older rats compared to younger rats. Therefore, the observed age-related decline in the magnitude of auditory evoked responses might be due in part to a reduction in markers of excitatory function; meanwhile, the concomitant reduction in both excitatory and inhibitory markers might reflect a common central alteration in animal models of ARLH. Together, these findings highlight the suitability of the Wistar rat as an excellent model to study ARHL.

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          The impact of hearing loss on the quality of life of elderly adults

          Hearing loss is the most common sensory deficit in the elderly, and it is becoming a severe social and health problem. Especially in the elderly, hearing loss can impair the exchange of information, thus significantly impacting everyday life, causing loneliness, isolation, dependence, and frustration, as well as communication disorders. Due to the aging of the population in the developed world, presbycusis is a growing problem that has been reported to reduce quality of life (QoL). Progression of presbycusis cannot be remediated; therefore, optimal management of this condition not only requires early recognition and rehabilitation, but it also should include an evaluation of QoL status and its assessment.
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            Acceleration of age-related hearing loss by early noise exposure: evidence of a misspent youth.

            Age-related and noise-induced hearing losses in humans are multifactorial, with contributions from, and potential interactions among, numerous variables that can shape final outcome. A recent retrospective clinical study suggests an age-noise interaction that exacerbates age-related hearing loss in previously noise-damaged ears (Gates et al., 2000). Here, we address the issue in an animal model by comparing noise-induced and age-related hearing loss (NIHL; AHL) in groups of CBA/CaJ mice exposed identically (8-16 kHz noise band at 100 dB sound pressure level for 2 h) but at different ages (4-124 weeks) and held with unexposed cohorts for different postexposure times (2-96 weeks). When evaluated 2 weeks after exposure, maximum threshold shifts in young-exposed animals (4-8 weeks) were 40-50 dB; older-exposed animals (> or =16 weeks) showed essentially no shift at the same postexposure time. However, when held for long postexposure times, animals with previous exposure demonstrated AHL and histopathology fundamentally unlike unexposed, aging animals or old-exposed animals held for 2 weeks only. Specifically, they showed substantial, ongoing deterioration of cochlear neural responses, without additional change in preneural responses, and corresponding histologic evidence of primary neural degeneration throughout the cochlea. This was true particularly for young-exposed animals; however, delayed neuropathy was observed in all noise-exposed animals held 96 weeks after exposure, even those that showed no NIHL 2 weeks after exposure. Data suggest that pathologic but sublethal changes initiated by early noise exposure render the inner ears significantly more vulnerable to aging.
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              Calcium-binding proteins in the nervous system.

              Among the many calcium-binding proteins in the nervous system, parvalbumin, calbindin-D28K and calretinin are particularly striking in their abundance and in the specificity of their distribution. They can be found in different subsets of neurons in many brain regions. Although it is not yet known whether they play a 'triggering' role like calmodulin, or merely act as buffers to modulate cytosolic calcium transients, they are valuable markers of neuronal subpopulations for anatomical and developmental studies.

                Author and article information

                Front Aging Neurosci
                Front Aging Neurosci
                Front. Aging Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                11 February 2014
                05 March 2014
                : 6
                : 29
                Facultad de Medicina, Instituto de Investigación en Discapacidades Neurológicas, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha Albacete, Spain
                Author notes

                Edited by: Fernanda Laezza, University of Texas Medical Branch, USA

                Reviewed by: José M. Delgado-García, University Pablo de Olavide, Spain; Fernanda Laezza, University of Texas Medical Branch, USA

                *Correspondence: Juan C. Alvarado, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Campus de Albacete, Calle Almansa 14, 02006 Albacete, Spain e-mail: juancarlos.alvarado@ 123456uclm.es

                This article was submitted to the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

                Copyright © 2014 Alvarado, Fuentes-Santamaría, Gabaldón-Ull, Blanco and Juiz.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 08 January 2014
                : 17 February 2014
                Page count
                Figures: 11, Tables: 4, Equations: 0, References: 81, Pages: 20, Words: 12190
                Original Research Article

                rat model,auditory brainstem response (abr),vesicular transport proteins,presbyacusis,hearing loss,cochlear nucleus


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