Author Topic: Tinnitus sufferers - seems like there's light at the end of the tunnel  (Read 1072 times)

Offline Curlycat

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https://newatlas.com/tinnitus-cure-treatment-headset/52854/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=48a339e053-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-48a339e053-92277733

Tinnitus reduced or even eliminated by device that resets brain activity.

It's just a simple pair of earbuds and some stick-on electrodes, but this device could be what millions of people worldwide have been waiting for – an effective treatment for tinnitus. Human trials have shown precisely timed sounds and weak electrical pulses delivered by the device can reduce or even eliminate that ringing in your ears.

Tinnitus, as vast numbers of people will attest, sucks. It's a ringing or rushing sound in one's ears when no sound is present and can be caused or exacerbated by exposure to loud noise. In a silent moment, it'll drive you nuts with its incessant ringing. In a noisy restaurant, it'll make it harder for you to hear a conversation. Just writing about it is making me notice my own tinnitus, and I bet a bunch of you guys reading this are cursing my name for reminding you about yours.

But there's good news. University of Michigan researchers believe they may have worked out the first non-invasive treatment that can reduce tinnitus symptoms, and it uses a pretty fascinating mechanism that slowly trains the ringing out of your ears. The technique doesn't concentrate on any physical damage or deep brain activity that may be associated with tinnitus, but rather, it looks to train out errant nerve activity.

"The brain, and specifically the region of the brainstem called the dorsal cochlear nucleus, is the root of tinnitus," says Susan Shore, the U-M Medical School professor leading the research team. "When the main neurons in this region, called fusiform cells, become hyperactive and synchronize with one another, the phantom signal is transmitted into other centers where perception occurs. If we can stop these signals, we can stop tinnitus. That is what our approach attempts to do."

Fusiform cells perform several valuable functions under normal conditions. They help us locate where sounds are coming from, and help us tune out noises and sensations related to our own head and neck movements.

But after exposure to loud noises, these cells can start behaving aberrantly, messing up their timing so they begin to synchronize their signals and fire without a noise to tune out, which results in a perception of sound where none exists. The team decided to try a bimodal auditory/somatosensory stimulation routine to attempt to reset the behaviour of these cells.

Basically, a totally non-invasive device was developed that could play a sound into the ears that roughly matches the frequency and volume of the tinnitus a patient experiences, and then apply a small electrical impulse to the head. Basically a set of headphones with some electrodes.

Patients were chosen who had the ability to alter the sound of their own tinnitus, making it louder or softer by clenching their jaws, flexing their necks or sticking out their tongues – indicating that they'd worked out ways of changing the activity of fusiform cells by themselves. The electrical pulses were directed to the part of the head each patient was using to change the tinnitus sound.

The researchers found that timing was crucial, and that this timing matched up with tests they'd previously run on guinea pigs. Twenty tinnitus patients had devices tuned to the specifics of their condition, and were trained to go away and perform a daily 30-minute session on the device each day for four weeks. A control group was given a "sham" device that only made the sound, without delivering the electrical pulses.

Patients in the sham group reported no reduction of tinnitus symptoms, but the active group's results were very encouraging. Bimodal treatment recipients on average experienced significantly reduced scores on the 100-point TFI tinnitus quality of life survey.

Some reported up to a 12-decibel reduction of the ringing in their ears, others reported a reduction in harshness or that their tinnitus became less piercing, and two patients reported it was completely gone. Nobody's symptoms got worse, and the effect persisted for at least a few weeks on average.

"We're definitely encouraged by these results," says Shore, "but we need to optimize the length of treatments, identify which subgroups of patients may benefit most, and determine if this approach works in patients who have nonsomatic forms of the condition that can't be modulated by head and neck maneuvers."

It's too early to talk about commercialization, or what the treatment might cost, but it seems like we tinnitus sufferers have a genuine hope of being free from this condition sometime in the coming years.


The team's study appears in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Source: University of Michigan

Offline Atjan

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Re: Tinnitus sufferers - seems like there's light at the end of the tunnel
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2018, 01:43:28 AM »
I can barely hear myself thinking above the ringing right now...I will definitely try it if it becomes available.

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Offline kamikazi

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Re: Tinnitus sufferers - seems like there's light at the end of the tunnel
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 08:43:53 PM »
I hope they give it a ringing endorsement!

Offline LouisF

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Re: Tinnitus sufferers - seems like there's light at the end of the tunnel
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2018, 09:58:50 PM »
I have been suffering from this malady for several years. About a year ago I started wearing proper hearing aids supplied by the Hearing Institute in Bellville - Phonak units - and the ringing is very much less now than what it used to be.
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how you treat people ultimately tells all."
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Offline chrisc

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Re: Tinnitus sufferers - seems like there's light at the end of the tunnel
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2018, 09:49:30 PM »
Any progress on this development?

Online fdlsys

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Re: Tinnitus sufferers - seems like there's light at the end of the tunnel
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2018, 09:50:45 PM »
Haven't you heard? There's a buzz going around.
The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. Dave Barry
Come back when you’ve lived a little. Miles Davis

Offline chrisc

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Re: Tinnitus sufferers - seems like there's light at the end of the tunnel
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2018, 08:12:07 AM »

Offline LouisF

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Re: Tinnitus sufferers - seems like there's light at the end of the tunnel
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2018, 04:37:33 PM »
Not buzz, RING!  ;D
"No matter how educated, talented, rich or cool you believe you are,
how you treat people ultimately tells all."
David Avocado Wolfe

I have learned more from people who have differed from me than from those who have agreed with me.

Offline Pieterf12

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I like..
I like...
This can and will be very helpful .
Hope we can soon stand in line to get one.

Thanks for this info.
I'm new here.
I would like to make friends on this forum.
S-O-R-R-Y,  You Good Guys.!!!!
So, Please Forgive Me My Silliness

Offline chrisc

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I like..
I like...
This can and will be very helpful .
Hope we can soon stand in line to get one.

Thanks for this info.

???

Offline Curlycat

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I think he means it is encouraging.

Offline chrisc

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When he said "get one", I immediately thought that there was some gadget available that would minimise the affliction

Offline Mars67

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My ears have been ringing now since Wednesday 11 February 1987 when our Buffel was in an ambush on the border. Two anti-tank rifle grenades, an RPG 7, a stick grenade and hundreds of rounds later and that was it. I cannot tell you how great it would be to get rid of this incessant ringing.

Offline Family_Dog

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^^ Buy an old SFA Hilux!   :giggle:


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