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Ovarian Steroid Hormones and Auditory Function

Al-Mana, D; (2013) Ovarian Steroid Hormones and Auditory Function. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Considerable anecdotal evidence and information from previous studies suggest that auditory function may be influenced by hormones. This thesis reviews in detail the potential role of hormones in modulating the auditory system and in the development of pathological conditions in the auditory system with an emphasis on the effect of the ovarian hormones. Ovarian steroids may influence auditory function directly through their receptors, which have been detected in the auditory system, or indirectly through their effects on the blood supply, the fluid electrolyte balance of the cochlea, and the neurotransmitters of the auditory system. Effects on other parts of the central nervous system connected to the auditory system may also be of importance. The aim of the study was to investigate whether physiological alterations in ovarian hormones in women with normal hearing, during the natural ovarian cycle and assisted conception treatment were associated with changes in auditory function at the cochlear and brain stem level, and whether these variations were not seen in men over a similar period of time. The auditory tests evaluated auditory function from the outer ear to the brainstem in both the afferent and efferent system. Hormone levels were assayed only in the female subjects at the same time as the auditory testing, four times during the ovarian cycle, or three times during the assisted conception treatment. Auditory tests were undertaken in the male subjects once a week for four consecutive weeks to correspond with the ovarian cycle measurements. A number of changes in auditory function were observed during the ovarian cycle and assisted conception treatment, and gender differences were noted. The OAE results may suggest either excitation of the cochlea with higher levels of oestrogen, or suppression of the cochlea with higher level of progesterone. The longer ABR latency following ovarian stimulation and in the follicular phase of the ovarian cycle is consistent with the inhibitory effect of neurosteroids on ABR associated with higher levels of oestrogen. The variation in auditory function were not observed in men.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Ovarian Steroid Hormones and Auditory Function
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > The Ear Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1386639
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