Neurological associations in auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder: Results from a tertiary hospital in South India

Abstract

AIMS To find out the prevalence and types of neurological abnormalities associated in auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder in a large tertiary referral center. SETTINGS AND DESIGN A prospective clinical study was conducted on all patients diagnosed with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder in the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) and neurology departments during a 17-month period. Patients with neurological abnormalities on history and examination were further assessed by a neurologist to determine the type of disorder present. RESULTS The frequency of auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder was 1.12%. Sixty percent were found to have neurological involvement. This included cerebral palsy in children, peripheral neuropathy (PN), spinocerebellar ataxia, hereditary motor-sensory neuropathy, spastic paresis, and ponto-bulbar palsy. Neurological lesions did not present simultaneously with hearing loss in most patients. Sixty-six percent of patients with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder were born of consanguineous marriages. CONCLUSIONS There is a high prevalence of neurological lesions in auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder which has to be kept in mind while evaluating such patients. Follow-up and counselling regarding the appearance of neuropathies is therefore important in such patients. A hereditary etiology is indicated in a majority of cases of auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder.

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