An auditory brainstem implant (ABI) provides a sensation of hearing to deaf people by directly stimulating the cochlear nucleus in the brain. This implant uses similar technology as the cochlear implant, but instead of electrical stimulation being used to stimulate the cochlea, it is used to directly stimulate the cochlear nucleus in the brain stem of the recipient.
Because it bypasses the cochlear nerves, the device is most useful for people who have an absence or damage to the cochlea or cochlear nerves (which precludes the use of a cochlear implant).
The device comprises a processor positioned by the ear, a receiver/stimulator and an array of electrodes. The electrode array of the ABI connects directly to the brainstem, bypassing the damaged cochlea and cochlear nerves. The microphone in the processor picks up sounds from the environment and digitally transmits them to the receiver stimulator placed under the skin. The receiver/stimulator stimulates the brainstem electrodes, allowing the patient to hear a variety of sounds.
Any adult or child with bilateral (both ears) severe to profound sensorineural (nerve) hearing loss who might have been candidates for a cochlear implant but cannot receive a cochlear implant due to absence or damage to the cochlea or cochlear nerves would be a candidate for an ABI.
Such situations may occur due to trauma, illness(such as meningitis), tumours of the hearing nerve(acoustic neuromas) or may be a birth anomaly.
See the BBC telecast on the first Paediatric Nucleus ABI done in India. This was carried out by our team on a 4 year old child.
My experience with cochlear implant My name is Gerald Andrew; I am 29 year old male Tanzanian. Last year (2009) was one of the most memorable for me. It’s when I received my cochlear implant at Apollo hospital in New Delhi after Read More »
I wanted to thank you immensely for the help that you provided to my father and thus to our family by giving him the gift of hearing. He is now recovering well and is able to hear all the conversations as normally as anyone else can.
My father, underwent a Stapedotomy ear surgery to correc ct his hearing problem, first in one ear and then 6 months later in the other. The result of the surgery was better than expected and post full recovery my father is able to hear very well. Read More »
My experience with cochlear implant My name is Gerald Andrew; I am 29 year old male Tanzanian. Last year (2009) was one of the most memorable for me. It’s when I received my cochlear implant at Apollo hospital in New Delhi after more than three years of hearing loss. Everyone’s experience with coch hlear implant is a bit different therefore, am happy to share mine with anybody out there, from the moment I lost my hearing, my experience during my stay at Apollo Hospital and one year later on, after cochlear implant. Read More »