Scientists Develop Treatment for Tinnitus

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The latest methods try to “tame” the brain using special music, coupled with a “behavioral” treatment that makes the patient change his habits in everyday life. However, these methods are not sufficient with all patients.

Scientists at the University of Michigan have launched a dual-stimulation method called bipolar-acoustic stimulation, in which they emit “detailed” sound waves in accordance with the tinnitus waves in each patient, and then stimulate the brain regions responsible for the buzz with an impalpable electric current.

They tried the method on 20 patients with chronic complicated tinnitus, and used the double-stimulation method with them for 30 minutes a day over four weeks. The Michigan researchers involved another group, whose members suffer from tinnitus, in comparison trials, and used a false method of double stimulation. The researchers were keen not to know or let the patients know, who had been treated properly and who had received false treatment.

The result was that the tinnitus decreased significantly up to 12 dB, in those with chronic tinnitus, while the buzz disappeared completely from the ears of two patients, according to the doctors’ report.

Susan Shore from the University of Michigan described the results as “encouraging” because the psychological impact of tinnitus on the lives and moods of patients has significantly declined. But, researchers didn’t observed any improvement in the group that received the false treatment.

Previous studies had suggested that the tinnitus is caused by an unusual activity in a specific area of ​​the brain called the “spiral nucleus” (relative to the earlobe), which is a region composed of spindle-shaped neurons, whose function is to suppress the sound of internal brain movement and to make the human focus on external movement.

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