Direct Current Stimulation of the Ear for Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Research News' started by jazz, Mar 27, 2014.

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    1. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      This study was also presented at the TRI's recent meeting. It is one of two studies in which researchers used electrical stimulation to reduce or eliminate tinnitus. Significantly, in the double-blind study tinnitus disappeared in 33.6% of participants in the treatment group. Additional gains were seen in the treatment group, but they are not listed in the abstract. Finally, hearing improved in the treatment group.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24337877

      Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 Dec 13. [Epub ahead of print]
      Direct current stimulation of the ear in tinnitus treatment: a double-blind placebo-controlled study.
      Mielczarek M1, Olszewski J.
      Author information

      Abstract
      The objectives of the study are assessment of the influence of direct current electrical stimulations of the ear in tinnitus treatment, comparison of the results with placebo group and evaluation of hearing after electrical stimulations. The study comprised 120 tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss patients (n = 184 tinnitus ears). In group one (n = 119 tinnitus ears) the authors applied a non-invasive hydrotransmissive electrical stimulation (15) of the ear, in group two (n = 65 tinnitus ears)-placebo electrical stimulation. Direct rectangular, positive polarization current was used. The frequency of stimulation was adjusted according to tinnitus frequency. In group two, the authors used similar procedure, but no current was delivered through the active electrode. Evaluation of tinnitus and hearing was conducted. In groups one and two, directly after the treatment, the number of ears with permanent tinnitus decreased considerably. In group one in 40 ears (33.6 %) tinnitus disappeared; in group two, tinnitus disappeared in four ears (6.1 %). After 30 days, statistically significant changes were observed in group one (p < 0.05), which were comparable with results returned 90 days later (p > 0.05). Changes in group two (after 30 and 90 days) were not significant (p > 0.05). The authors recognized audiometric improvement of hearing (in pure tone audiometry). The application of direct current electrical stimulation of the hearing organ, with current frequencies similar to tinnitus frequencies (selective electrical stimulation), was an efficient method in severe tinnitus treatment. We did not observe a harmful effect of direct current on hearing organ.


      The authors published a similar study that further confirmed the efficacy of electrical stimulation of the ear for severe tinnitus.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22682958

      Auris Nasus Larynx. 2013 Feb;40(1):61-5. doi: 10.1016/j.anl.2012.05.006. Epub 2012 Jun 8.
      The application of direct current electrical stimulation of the ear and cervical spine kinesitherapy in tinnitus treatment.
      Mielczarek M1, Konopka W, Olszewski J.

      The results of this study were equally impressive:

      RESULTS:
      Before the treatment, group I comprised 51 ears (87.93%) with permanent, and 7 ears (12.07%) with temporary tinnitus; group II - 55 ears (90.17%) with permanent and 6 ears (9.83%) with temporary tinnitus. After the treatment, in both groups the number of ears with permanent tinnitusdecreased considerably obtaining the pauses or disappearing of tinnitus. Directly after the treatment, group I comprised 25 ears (43.11%) with permanent, and 10 ears (17.24%) with temporary tinnitus, in 23 ears (39.65%) tinnitus disappeared; group II - 33 ears (54.1%) with permanent and 11 ears (18.03%) with temporary tinnitus, in 17 ears (27.87%) tinnitus disappeared. Regarding questionnaires, improvement was observed in group I - in 43.11% of ears, in group II - 32.8%. In both groups audiometric improvement of hearing was recognized.
       
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    2. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      So why is this not a thing yet?
       
    3. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      This is interesting , and yes...why is this not a thing yet?
       
    4. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      I am this close to electrocuting myself in an attempt to get better :p
       
    5. Champ
      Woot

      Champ Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Boston, MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma from headphones
      Research happens, then the researcher either tries to productize their research, someone else does, or no one does anything.

      It's likely someone will try this in trials.
       
    6. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      Anything that is possible in treating T they should do a trial about.. If not thats ridiculous
       
    7. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      Some T sufferers will undoubtedly try this at home. This is a great example of DIY biohacking / brainhacking which I recently posted about. Reddit has a thread about tDCS which is close to this one: http://www.reddit.com/r/tDCS

      P.S. I will get my TENS device next week and I will attempt to copy this trial with myself - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20505927
       
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    8. Hudson
      Cowboy

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Clinical trials take a lot of time and money. Funding is hard to come by.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      Yeah its frusterating!
       
    10. tom68
      Wishful

      tom68 Member

      Location:
      East Mids, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      Indeed, but also promising. I guess for treatments to be developed there needs to be a realistic prospect of a financial return - maybe drugs companies are just more geared up for delivering drug treatments rather than something like this ? I'm just guessing though - would love to be proved wrong and for someone to announce trials of this - the more things goingon the better.
       
    11. tom68
      Wishful

      tom68 Member

      Location:
      East Mids, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
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    12. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Thank you for finding that study!

      This treatment--like many others--will have difficulty coming to trial because the researchers need to turn it into something proprietary. Bringing something to market is very labor and cost intensive. No matter how brilliant the discovery, there's two main paths to success. First, you can partner with a corporation, who will turn the technology into something patentable. Or second, you can patent something yourself then find venture capitalists who specialize in start up medical technologies. Having a proprietary technology is key because entrepreneurs will want to control the market--at least for several years--in order to recoup their expenses. Once a patent is secured, and the technology has a good chance of success, then clinical trials may begin. (At least, this is my understanding of the process.)

      Researchers for tinnitus technologies need seriously to start thinking like entrepreneurs. That is the key to getting these products to the clinical trial stage.
       
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    13. t-man
      Suicidal

      t-man Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      It's a shame patents and proprietary motives hinder data such as this. This could be patented and put on a shelf to never be used, or never developed because no corporation can see the financial benefits.

      They need the green.
       
    14. tom68
      Wishful

      tom68 Member

      Location:
      East Mids, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      Well the first named author is a hospital doctor in Lodz, Poland. Googling it this or a similar treatment seems to be something they are trying for depression? I don't know but maybe you can already get this treatment if you contact them and ask - if I lived nearby I think I'd give it a shot.
       
    15. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      Where can I buy this TENS machine before I hook up my Bench PSU to my brain and toast myself?
      I got stuff to do, cant be doing this T thing anymore.
       
    16. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Here's a recent study on TENS that also shows promise for certain types of tinnitus:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24215217

      Acta Otolaryngol. 2014 Feb;134(2):159-67. doi: 10.3109/00016489.2013.844854. Epub 2013 Nov 11.
      Effectiveness of transcutaneous electrical stimulation for chronic tinnitus.
      Lee SK1, Chung H, Chung JH, Yeo SG, Park MS, Byun JY.
      Author information

      Abstract
      CONCLUSION:
      Based on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) and visual analog scale (VAS) scores, transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS) can provide relief from tinnitus. Response to electrical stimulation was best seen in patients with low-frequency tinnitus and with mild hearing loss.

      OBJECTIVE:
      TENS is known to alleviate symptoms of tinnitus. However, study of the effectiveness of TENS for tinnitus has produced variable results, and it is still unclear what kind of patients with tinnitus would respond best to TENS. Here, we assessed the effects of TENS on the perception of tinnitus using the THI and VAS questionnaires.

      METHODS:
      A total of 65 patients with tinnitus were divided into two groups: 45 patients received TENS and 20 patients received placebo (shamstimulation) twice a week over 4 weeks. THI and VAS scores were assessed before and after electrical stimulation. We also evaluated the effects ofTENS on the degree of initial hearing loss and tinnitus frequency.

      RESULTS:
      Twenty-eight of 45 patients (62.2%) revealed subjective improvement in tinnitus with TENS. TENS was more effective in patients with low-frequency tinnitus or with mild hearing loss. Symptomatic improvement in the electrical stimulation group was achieved for 1 month in most patients.
       
    17. just1morething
      Benevolent

      just1morething Member Benefactor

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma from airplane descent, noise exposure? ETD? TMJD?
      I have a TENS unit someplace if I can find it. I got it last year and the company kept sending me new pads. My confidence is low for this helping tinnitus, but I may try it again.
       
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    18. Erlend
      Question it

      Erlend Member Benefactor

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    19. JohnG

      JohnG Guest

      Seems the run-of-the-mill TENS won't work. They go up to 150hz. According to the article posted on this thread you need up to 8khz and that needs to be special circuit. I'm still not clear were the pads are placed on/near the ear and the current and duty cycle. So this looks like a dud.
       
    20. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
    21. JohnG

      JohnG Guest

      I looked at that and it is like most of them:
      • Output current: max. 180 mA p-p (500 Ohm)
      • Output frequency: 1 - 120 Hz
      This is not enough current to make it anywhere near the deeper layers like the nervous system in the inner ear. The human body has too much resistance so most of the current will be attenuated with the subcutaneous resistance. Also, the max frequency is 120 Hz...this is no where near a T suffer freq which is usually near 8 Khz. Then there is the factor of placing electrodes, etc. So this seems like a waste of money unfortunately.
       
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    22. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      I believe Brain2N clinic in Antwerp try TENS as part of the consultation.
      The waiting list is about 18 months. Sign up now.
       
    23. just1morething
      Benevolent

      just1morething Member Benefactor

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma from airplane descent, noise exposure? ETD? TMJD?
      images.jpg
      Maybe someone gave him a "snuggie" and he's a bit sore lol. No, Seriously; we all appreciate @ResonanceCEO input & technical expertise! He's a great resource to this forum!
       
    24. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      The Fisher Wallace tDCS stimulator might be the thing to try. It uses a 15kHz carrier wave (I'm not sure what that means exactly), and it supposedly does penetrate to deeper brain areas via neuronal networks (I read that somewhere but cannot find the reference right now). More info here: http://www.fisherwallace.com/ and http://www.fisherwallace.com/uploads/Fisher Wallace Stimulator - Instruction Manual - For Treating Insomnia, Anxiety & Depression.pdf and http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Adviso...mittee/NeurologicalDevicesPanel/UCM291109.pdf

      This device is FDA approved for the treatment of anxiety, depression, insomnia, and chronic pain.
       
    25. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      Is the frequency of the device related to the tinnitus frequency that will be treated ?
       
    26. JohnG

      JohnG Guest

      According to one research posted here it used a freq at the T freq.
       
    27. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      I got my TENS device yesterday. I will try to use it differently according to this study, where the frequency requirements are lower.

      "Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) of upper cervical nerve (C2) for the treatment of somatic tinnitus"
       

      Attached Files:

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    28. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      Interesting , keep us posted . Doing some experiments myself (dont worry , they do not involve electricity) :)
       
    29. exodus
      Cold

      exodus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008
      hi guys

      did anyone tried to contact them to get the technique and equipment they did use for it?
       
    30. t-man
      Suicidal

      t-man Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Why would they tell you how to do their job?
       

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