Neurotrophic factors and neural prostheses: potential clinical applications based upon findings in the auditory system.

  • Pettingill L
  • Richardson R
  • Wise A
 et al. 
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Spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) are the target cells of the cochlear implant, a neural prosthesis designed to provide important auditory cues to severely or profoundly deaf patients. The ongoing degeneration of SGNs that occurs following a sensorineural hearing loss is, therefore, considered a limiting factor in cochlear implant efficacy. We review neurobiological techniques aimed at preventing SGN degeneration using exogenous delivery of neurotrophic factors. Application of these proteins prevents SGN degeneration and can enhance neurite outgrowth. Furthermore, chronic electrical stimulation of SGNs increases neurotrophic factor-induced survival and is correlated with functional benefits. The application of neurotrophic factors has the potential to enhance the benefits that patients can derive from cochlear implants; moreover, these techniques may be relevant for use with neural prostheses in other neurological conditions.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Afferent
  • Afferent: drug effects
  • Afferent: physiology
  • Animal
  • Animals
  • Auditory
  • Brain Stem
  • Brain Stem: drug effe
  • Brain Stem: physiolog
  • Cell Survival
  • Cell Survival/drug effects/physiology
  • Cell Survival: drug effects
  • Cell Survival: physiology
  • Co
  • Cochlea
  • Cochlea: drug effects
  • Cochlea: physiopathology
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Cochlear Implants: trends
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease Models
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy: instrumentation
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy: methods
  • Electrodes
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Hearing Loss
  • Implanted
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Membrane Potentials: physiology
  • Nerve Degeneration
  • Nerve Degeneration: drug therapy
  • Nerve Degeneration: physiopathology
  • Nerve Degeneration: prevention & control
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Growth Factors: administration & dosage
  • Neurons
  • Recovery of Function
  • Recovery of Function: drug effects
  • Recovery of Function: physiology
  • Sensorineural
  • Sensorineural: pathology
  • Sensorineural: physiopathology
  • Sensorineural: therapy
  • Spiral Ganglion
  • Spiral Ganglion: drug effects
  • Spiral Ganglion: physiology
  • Treatment Outcome

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  • Lisa N Pettingill

  • Rachael T Richardson

  • Andrew K Wise

  • Stephen J O'Leary

  • Robert K Shepherd

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