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New tinnitus treatment

Tinnitus, loud, persistent ringing in the ears, is a frequent complaint following traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately in the past, treatment of this condition as proved to be very difficult with limited success.

Recent advances in the use of music to reduce the effects of tinnitus have been met with a great deal of success. 

In a new study published on-line in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the authors concluded that, "Tinnitus loudness can be significantly diminished by an enjoyable, low-cost, custom-tailored notched music treatment"

The treatment is based on behavioral training theories that posit that the auditory cortex, which is responsible for perceiving the sound and has been shown to be distorted in the areas where a specific frequency is "heard," might gradually be trained to reorganize, correcting for its maladaptive distortion.

In the small study, eight subjects with tinnitus listened to their music of choice that had been specially edited—or "notched"—to remove the frequency that corresponded to their tinnitus level. Another eight subjects with tinnitus listened to their preferred music that had random "placebo" frequencies removed, and another seven individuals with tinnitus received no treatment.

Those in the two music groups listened for an average of about 12.4 hours per week, and the individuals in the tinnitus-tuned section found that "tinnitus loudness was significantly reduced," the authors reported. The other two groups showed no change.

The researchers propose that the therapy might work by re-wiring parts of the auditory cortex that have become over-active to instead tune into surrounding—but different—tones. Another possibility is that with deprivation, these specially tuned auditory neurons would undergo "long-term depression," causing them to become less active overall.

You can read the article abstract and order the full tinnitus article by clicking here.

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Comments

AlanK

You have broaden my knowledge regarding tinnitus. It explained well and elaborate the causes and effect. Hope to
read more about these symptom. thanks

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