This is the development of CI technology and is designed for the auditory
rehabilitation of a specific small group of totally deaf individuals whose hearing loss is
due to loss of the auditory nerves.The usual reason for this is the condition of
Neurofibromatosis type 2 which is characterised by the occurrence of benign tumours
(vestibular schwannomas,syn acoustic neuromas) affecting both auditory nerves.The tumours
themselves or the surgery to remove them may cause a total bilateral loss of hearing due
to the loss of the affected nerves.Such individuals cannot be treated with the cochlear
implant because the CI requires the presence of an intact auditory nerve in order to
transmit messages to the brain.The ABI attempts to overcome this problem by introducing
electrical stimuli to the cochlear nucleus area of the brain stem,thus bypassing the
damaged auditory nerve. Small series of ABI cases have been operated upon in the US and in
Europe and Manchester Royal Infirmary has been part of the European pilot study.
HEAR has helped this project by assisting with funding the training and equipping of the surgical and rehabilitation teams,and their attendance at academic meetings at which results are presented and development strategies discussed.
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Page Last Modified : 19/12/02