Research in Brief: Researchers Target New Brain Area for Tinnitus Treatment University of Michigan Medical School researchers have identified a new target for treating tinnitus, according to a study published Dec. 11, 2013, in the Journal of Neuroscience (bit.ly/tinnitus-plasticity). The team already has a patent pending and a device in development based on its findings. Researchers led by Susan Shore exposed ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   March 01, 2014
Research in Brief: Researchers Target New Brain Area for Tinnitus Treatment
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Hearing Disorders / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   March 01, 2014
Research in Brief: Researchers Target New Brain Area for Tinnitus Treatment
The ASHA Leader, March 2014, Vol. 19, 18. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB6.19032014.18
The ASHA Leader, March 2014, Vol. 19, 18. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB6.19032014.18
University of Michigan Medical School researchers have identified a new target for treating tinnitus, according to a study published Dec. 11, 2013, in the Journal of Neuroscience (bit.ly/tinnitus-plasticity). The team already has a patent pending and a device in development based on its findings.
Researchers led by Susan Shore exposed guinea pigs to narrow-band noise that produced a temporary elevation of auditory brainstem response thresholds. Approximately 60 percent of the animals developed tinnitus. The scientists confirmed that a neural process called “stimulus timing-dependent multisensory plasticity” was altered in the animals with tinnitus—and that this plasticity is “exquisitely sensitive” to the timing of signals coming in to a key brain area. That area, called the dorsal cochlear nucleus, is the first station for signals arriving in the brain from the ear via the auditory nerve. But it’s also a center where “multitasking” neurons integrate other sensory signals—such as touch—together with the hearing information.
The new findings illuminate the relationship between tinnitus, hearing loss and sensory input and help explain why many tinnitus sufferers can change the volume and pitch of their tinnitus by clenching their jaw or moving their head and neck. And although the work was done in animals, it provides a science-based, novel approach to treating tinnitus in humans. Any treatment will likely need to be customized to each patient, and delivered regularly—and some patients may be more likely to benefit than others.
2 Comments
September 30, 2016
Daniel Knudsen
Device?
What type of device is in development and how does it alleviate tinnitus?
September 30, 2016
Carol Polovoy
Research
This article appeared more than two years ago -- we suggest following the link to the research article and contacting the study authors directly.
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March 2014
Volume 19, Issue 3