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Brain Chemical Linked To Healthy Hearing

Apr 22, 2014 Brain Chemical Linked To Healthy Hearing

A simple chemical in your brain is responsible for elevating your mood when you hear your favorite song on the radio, or the voice of a loved one on the phone. And a new study is looking at how this chemical is connected to your hearing health. Find out how it may be affecting YOUR hearing…

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is produced in several areas of the brain, and released by the hypothalamus. Among dopamine’s many functions in the body, it is linked to the brain’s system of motivation and reward, and can help regulate mood, sleep and cognition. It is also involved in maintaining your hearing.

Low Dopamine Levels Lead To Disease

Decreases in dopamine levels in the body have been linked to Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia, and new research is now looking at the link between dopamine levels in the body and hearin​g health.

Dopamine Maintains Healthy Hearing

In a study published in 2006 in the Journal of Neuroscience, French researchers found that dopamine is important in maintaining healthy auditory nerve neurons, which are responsible for transporting sound from the ears to the brain. Decreased dopamine levels could affect these neurons, impeding transmission of sound from the ear to the brain, and causing ​sensorineural hearing loss.

New Research On Dopamine And Hearing Health

Researchers from Washington State University and the National Institute of Health are taking on new research in this area. They suspect that dopamine affects the way we hear particular sounds and voices, and they will be studying how dopamine affects auditory processing from brain cells to neural circuits.

Maintain YOUR Hearing Health

The best way to maintain your hearing health is to protect your hearing from loud noises, maintain healthy eating and exercise habits, and be sure to visit an audiologist regularly to ​get your hearing checked and address any changes to your hearing early on. 

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