Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry (BERA), also known as Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR), is a valuable objective hearing test widely favored for its non-invasive nature and standardized parameters.

During this test, brainstem potentials are triggered by click or tone burst stimuli, and the resulting waveform is recorded by placing electrodes on the scalp.

Here are the primary applications of BERA:
Newborn Hearing Screening: BERA is highly effective for screening newborns for hearing impairment, aiding in early detection and intervention.

Diagnosis in Special Populations: It assists in detecting, quantifying, and identifying the nature of deafness in infants, mentally challenged individuals, and those suspected of feigning hearing loss.

Locating Lesions: BERA helps identify the site of lesion in retrocochlear pathologies, providing insights into specific areas of auditory pathway damage.

Study of Auditory and Neurological Disorders: It’s instrumental in studying central auditory disorders, brainstem disorders, and certain suspected demyelinated disorders by assessing the integrity of the neural pathway.

Assessment of CNS Maturity in Newborns: BERA aids in evaluating the maturity of the central nervous system in newborns, providing crucial insights into their developmental stage.

Principle of BERA:
When sound reaches the cochlea, it’s converted into an electrical impulse that travels from the cochlea to the auditory cortex. At each station along this pathway, some processing occurs, generating electrical activity. Placing electrodes on the scalp vertex allows the monitoring of this electrical activity. BERA evaluates the structural integrity of this auditory pathway.

Clinical Uses of BERA:
ABR is primarily utilized for newborn hearing screening, estimating auditory thresholds, intraoperative monitoring during surgeries involving the auditory system, determining the type and degree of hearing loss, and detecting lesions in the auditory nerve and brainstem.

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