Psychoacoustics and neurophysiological auditory processing in patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease types 1A and 2A

J. E. Choi, H. Y. Seol, J. M. Seok, S. H. Hong, B. O. Choi, I. J. Moon

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3 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: Hidden hearing loss has been reported in patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease; however, the auditory-processing deficits have not been widely explored. We investigated the psychoacoustic and neurophysiological aspects of auditory processing in patients with CMT disease type 1A (CMT1A) and type 2A (CMT2A). Methods: A total of 43 patients with CMT1A and 15 patients with CMT2A were prospectively enrolled. All patients with CMT disease had normal sound-detection ability by using pure-tone audiometry. Spectral-ripple discrimination, temporal modulation detection and auditory frequency-following response were compared between CMT1A, CMT2A and control groups. Results: Although all participants had normal audiograms, patients with CMT disease had difficulty understanding speech in noise. The psychoacoustic auditory processing was somewhat different depending on the underlying pathophysiology of CMT disease. Patients with CMT1A had degraded auditory temporal and spectral processing. Patients with CMT2A had no reduced spectral resolution, but they showed further reduced temporal resolution than the patients with CMT1A. The amplitudes of the frequency-following response were reduced in patients with CMT1A and CMT2A, but the neural timing remained relatively intact. Conclusions: When we first assessed the neural representation to speech at the brainstem level, the grand average brainstem responses were reduced in both patients with CMT1A and CMT2A compared with healthy controls. As the psychoacoustic aspects of auditory dysfunctions in CMT1A and CMT2A were somewhat different, it is necessary to consider future auditory rehabilitation methods based on their pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2079-2088
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 European Academy of Neurology


  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • brainstem response
  • mitofusin 2
  • peripheral myelin protein 22
  • spectral processing
  • speech
  • temporal processing


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