Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

A diagnostic test for cochlear synaptopathy in humans

Project description

Tuning into the first signs of permanent hearing damage

The EU-funded CochSyn project aims to develop a diagnosis tool for the first signs of permanent hearing damage. The non-invasive audio test quantifies cochlear synaptopathy defined as the damage to the cochlear auditory-nerve fibre synapses due to ageing, noise exposure or ototoxicity. Cochlear synaptopathy is associated with reduced speech intelligibility and occurs before the traditional audiogram shows signs of hearing damage. The new test is more sensitive and can quantify a widespread form of sensorineural hearing loss. In the current phase of the project, developers plan to fine-tune the test and build a normative dataset of outcomes for a diverse population of people at risk for synaptopathy to determine the application area and create a precise diagnostic interpretation.

Objective

The CochSyn-test aims to diagnose the first signs of permanent hearing damage with a 10-15 min clinical hearing- screening test. The test quantifies cochlear synaptopathy, i.e. damage to the cochlear auditory-nerve fiber synapses due to ageing, noise-exposure or ototoxicity, with a non-invasive auditory test. Because synaptopathy is associated with reduced speech intelligibility and occurs before the audiogram shows signs of hearing damage, our test is more sensitive than the audiogram (present clinical standard) and can quantify a widespread form of sensorineural hearing loss. The CochSyn test makes early-diagnosis and early-intervention possible, which the WHO determined as cost- effective in reducing the financial burden associated with untreated hearing loss.
In this PoC project, we plan to fine-tune the CochSyn-test and build a normative dataset of test outcomes for a diverse population of people at risk for synaptopathy. This dataset is necessary to (i) determine the application area of the test and enable a precise diagnostic interpretation, (ii) convince ENT doctors about adopting the test and companies to invest in it, and (iii), convince health agencies and policy makers that synaptopathy is an important health risk, given its impact on degrading speech intelligibility in noisy listening environments.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITEIT GENT
Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
Address
Sint pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 Gent
Belgium

See on map

Region
Vlaams Gewest Prov. Oost-Vlaanderen Arr. Gent
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)