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J Audiol Otol > Epub ahead of print
DOI: https://doi.org/10.7874/jao.2019.00227    [Epub ahead of print] Published online November 4, 2019.
Effects of Caffeine on Auditory- and Vestibular-Evoked Potentials in Healthy Individuals: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study
Elham Tavanai  , Saeid Farahani  , Mansoureh Adel Ghahraman  , Saleheh Soleimanian  , Shohreh Jalaie 
Department of Audiology, School of Rehabilitation, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Correspondence  Saeid Farahani ,Tel: +98-21-77530636, Fax: +98-21-77684889, Email: s_farahani@tums.ac.ir
Submitted: June 9, 2019  Accepted after revision: September 16, 2019
Background and Objectives
The blockage of adenosine receptors by caffeine changes the levels of neurotransmitters. These receptors are present in all parts of the body, including the auditory and vestibular systems. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of caffeine on evoked potentials using auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) and cervical vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials (cVEMPs) in a double-blind placebo-controlled study.
Subjects and Methods
Forty individuals (20 females and 20 males; aged 18-25 years) were randomly assigned to two groups: the test group (consuming 3 mg/kg pure caffeine powder with little sugar and dry milk in 100 mL of water), and the placebo group (consuming only sugar and dry milk in 100 mL water as placebo). The cVEMPs and ABRs were recorded before and after caffeine or placebo intake.
A significant difference was observed in the absolute latencies of I and III (p<0.010), and V (p<0.001) and in the inter-peak latencies of III–V and I–V (p<0.001) of ABRs wave. In contrast, no significant difference was found in cVEMP parameters (P13 and N23 latency, threshold, P13-N23 amplitude, and amplitude ratio). The mean amplitudes of P13-N23 showed an increase after caffeine ingestion. However, this was not significant compared with the placebo group (p>0.050).
It seems that the extent of caffeine’s effects varies for differently evoked potentials. Latency reduction in ABRs indicates that caffeine improves transmission in the central brain auditory pathways. However, different effects of caffeine on auditory- and vestibular-evoked potentials could be attributed to the differences in sensitivities of the ABR and cVEMP tests.
Keywords: Caffeine · Adenosine · Auditory brain stem responses · Cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials
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