Image_7_Effects of acute ischemic stroke on binaural perception.JPEG (115.35 kB)
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Image_7_Effects of acute ischemic stroke on binaural perception.JPEG

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posted on 2022-12-22, 05:12 authored by Anna Dietze, Peter Sörös, Matthias Bröer, Anna Methner, Henri Pöntynen, Benedikt Sundermann, Karsten Witt, Mathias Dietz

Stroke-induced lesions at different locations in the brain can affect various aspects of binaural hearing, including spatial perception. Previous studies found impairments in binaural hearing, especially in patients with temporal lobe tumors or lesions, but also resulting from lesions all along the auditory pathway from brainstem nuclei up to the auditory cortex. Currently, structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used in the clinical treatment routine of stroke patients. In combination with structural imaging, an analysis of binaural hearing enables a better understanding of hearing-related signaling pathways and of clinical disorders of binaural processing after a stroke. However, little data are currently available on binaural hearing in stroke patients, particularly for the acute phase of stroke. Here, we sought to address this gap in an exploratory study of patients in the acute phase of ischemic stroke. We conducted psychoacoustic measurements using two tasks of binaural hearing: binaural tone-in-noise detection, and lateralization of stimuli with interaural time- or level differences. The location of the stroke lesion was established by previously acquired MRI data. An additional general assessment included three-frequency audiometry, cognitive assessments, and depression screening. Fifty-five patients participated in the experiments, on average 5 days after their stroke onset. Patients whose lesions were in different locations were tested, including lesions in brainstem areas, basal ganglia, thalamus, temporal lobe, and other cortical and subcortical areas. Lateralization impairments were found in most patients with lesions within the auditory pathway. Lesioned areas at brainstem levels led to distortions of lateralization in both hemifields, thalamus lesions were correlated with a shift of the whole auditory space, whereas some cortical lesions predominantly affected the lateralization of stimuli contralateral to the lesion and resulted in more variable responses. Lateralization performance was also found to be affected by lesions of the right, but not the left, basal ganglia, as well as by lesions in non-auditory cortical areas. In general, altered lateralization was common in the stroke group. In contrast, deficits in tone-in-noise detection were relatively scarce in our sample of lesion patients, although a significant number of patients with multiple lesion sites were not able to complete the task.