Central auditory responses to electrical stimulation from a cochlear implant were studied in 75 pre-lingually deafened children and 11 adults. Electrically evoked auditory brainstem response (EABR) latencies significantly decreased with duration of cochlear implant use and were not significantly affected by the age at implant activation. Significant decreases in early latency waves and interwaves occurred within the first 1-2 months of implant use, whereas longer term changes (6-12 months) were found for eV and eIII-eV, which measure activity in the more rostral brainstem. Comparisons to acoustically evoked auditory brainstem response (ABR) in children with normal hearing suggested shorter interwave EABR latencies, reflecting either distinct neural generators or increased neural synchrony, but similar rates of change in the later latency eV and eIII-eV with time in sound. In sum, normal-like development of the rostral auditory brainstem is promoted by cochlear implant use in children of a wide range of ages.
Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.