Biomedical Research

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Alterations of interhemispheric resting state functional connectivity in hearing loss patients caused by occupational moderate and severe noise

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is one of worldwide occupational disease for chronic exposure to loud noise. However, the voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity has not been used previously to investigate interhemispheric functional coordination in NIHL patients. This study aimed to explore the alterations of interhemispheric resting state functional connectivity in NIHL patients by using voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) technique. 21 patients with MS-NIHL and 30 control subjects were underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). An automated VMHC approach was used to analyze and compare the VMHC correlation coefficients between the MS-NIHL and control subjects on SPM8 software package. Compared with control subjects, the MS-NIHL patients showed increase of VMHC values in the inferior frontal gyrus, anterior cingulated cortex and paracentral lobule. There was negative correlation between VMHC and occupational noise exposure duration in the precuneus and inferior frontal gyrus in the healthy controls and MS-NIHL patients. In conclusion, interhemispheric VMHC coefficients were altered in MS-NIHL patients, and it provided evidence for neural network functional and neural reorganization in sensory, attention and cognition cortices of MS-NIHL patients.

Author(s): Wang Aijie, Chen Feng, Lian Wei, Zhang Guowei, Zhang Guanghui, Li Chuanting