Correlation between cognitive functions and central auditory processing in adolescents with non-cholesteatomatous chronic otitis media

Abstract Auditory deprivation associated with early otitis media with effusion has been considered a risk factor for central auditory processing (CAP), as well as for the development of a number of cognitive functions. Objective: To study the neuropsychological functions of attention, working memory and executive function in adolescents with and without non-cholesteatomatous chronic otitis media (NCCOM) and analyze their interrelationships with the behavioral evaluation of CAP. Methods: Sixty-eight adolescents were recruited, 34 were diagnosed with NCCOM (study group - SG), and 34 had no otological history (control group - CG). The Neupsilin Brief Neuropsychological Assessment Instrument was used. CAP was assessed by: Masking Level Difference, Synthetic Sentence Identification, Random Gap Detection Test, Duration Pattern Sequence Test and Dichotic Digits Test. Results: The results of Neupsilin showed lower scores in the study group when compared to the control group on the following tests: digit sequence repetition, ascending digit ordering, auditory sentence span, and phonemic verbal fluency. An association was found between central auditory processing tests and Neupsilin subtests. Conclusion: The effects of NCCOM on attention, memory and executive function related to central auditory processing disorder in adolescents seem to be enhanced by the severity of the disease.