Tinnitus is a phantom auditory perception of meaningless sound, meaning that there is registration of sound in the absence of an external or internal acoustic stimulus. It is a common problem (prevalence 7-19%) which may interfere with the ability to lead a normal life. Unfortunately, it is a very difficult symptom to treat because there are hardly any therapeutic options for the cause of tinnitus. Most therapies focus on alleviating the condition rather than treating the cause. Tinnitus is thought to be generated in the brain, as a result of functional reorganization of auditory neural pathways and tonotopic maps in the central auditory system, following damage to the peripheral auditory system. Repetitive Transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a therapy, based on this concept of reorganization in the auditory cortex. It uses a pulsed magnetic field to disrupt the neural circuit and to thereby (temporarily) excite or inhibit certain brain areas, leading to the suppression of tinnitus.
Study Start Date:April 2008
Study Completion Date:June 2011
Primary Completion Date:June 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)