Tinnitus is the phantom auditory perception of sound in the absence of an external or internal acoustic stimulus. It is a frequent problem which can interfere significantly with the ability to lead a normal life.
Treatment remains difficult. Most available therapies focus on habituation rather than treating the cause. Tinnitus has been shown to be associated with functional reorganization of auditory neural pathways and tonotopic maps in the central auditory system.
Consequently, low-frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) applied to the temporoparietal areas has been investigated for the treatment of tinnitus. Additionally, there is growing evidence that a neural network of both auditory and non-auditory cortical areas is involved in the pathophysiology of chronic subjective tinnitus. Targeting several core regions of this network by rTMS might constitute a promising strategy to enhance treatment effects.
A new multisite treatment protocol which is supposed to have an effect on both auditory and non-auditory cortical areas will be examined with regard to feasibility, safety and clinical efficacy in patients suffering from chronic tinnitus in a controlled pilot trial.
Study Start Date:July 2012
Estimated Study Completion Date:March 2014
Estimated Primary Completion Date:September 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)