Electrical Stimulation of the Ear in Tinnitus Patients: A Pilot Study

Discussion in 'Research News' started by wags, Dec 2, 2016.

    1. wags
      Wishful

      wags Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trama
      Original research article published in Frontiers related to electrical simulation therapy - results look promising for at least improving tinnitus:

      http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnins.2016.00453/full

      Specifically:
      Seems like a very well put together study, and is perhaps something to keep an eye on...
       
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    2. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Yes this is a promising option. It was featured in one of the ATA's videos this past summer.
      One nice thing about it is that it is not invasive: no poking anywhere.
      I do wonder if patients with a metal prosthesis in the ear (after a stapedotomy for example) can still make use of this treatment.
       
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    3. Michael Larsen
      Surfing

      Michael Larsen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noice
      Sign me up :) any time
       
    4. Coleoptere
      Alone

      Coleoptere Member

      Location:
      The Hague
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bell's Palsy, hearing loss
      Excellent. I hope it is followed up soon because this is easily brought to the masses. 4 minutes per treatment: I did not read how many treatments are required.
       
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    5. Michael Larsen
      Surfing

      Michael Larsen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noice
    6. Rings-a-Bell

      Rings-a-Bell Member

      Location:
      Barbados
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      This sounds like the sort of thing that the TT forum guys who are doing home-made lasers in their ears could handle easily. And last I heard the lasers didn't do much for them so perhaps this could be more fruitful.
       
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    7. HomeoHebbian
      Question it

      HomeoHebbian Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Looks to me like it is based on very few subjects,there are literally no control group(s) and tinnitus severity was estimated by self-report immediately after the stimulation ended. What made you feel like it was a very well put together study?
       
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    8. attheedgeofscience
      No Mood

      attheedgeofscience Member Mighty Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      The work is based on an earlier study (from 2014) which I posted about here:

      www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/put-a-spotlight-on-tinnitus-research.17543/#post-210704

      The novelty in the newly released work (from this year) and which is part of the Frontiers Research Topic relates to the fact that EEG scans were included.
       
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    9. Mentos

      Mentos Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cracow, Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced, loud rock concert
      Since I'm from Poland I am in contact with a clinic that conducts these treatments, as it is non invasive and rather risk-free procedure I try to get enrolled in the treatment. I'm awaiting feedback whether they qualify me for it.
       
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    10. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Nothing is risk-free, unfortunately. There's a lot we don't know about this procedure, such as mid-to-long term side effects, since it hasn't been performed long enough and on a large enough patient population to have a statistical history.

      Everything's a gamble. Good luck with it.
       
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    11. Coleoptere
      Alone

      Coleoptere Member

      Location:
      The Hague
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bell's Palsy, hearing loss
      Hi @Mentos. That sound like a free trial. Is it?
       
    12. Mentos

      Mentos Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cracow, Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced, loud rock concert
      Yes it should be free. They now evaluate my head MRI results and basen on that they will qualify me or not.
       
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    13. Stephen1144

      Stephen1144 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1994
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      gun noise
      Conclusions
      Our results indicate that peripheral external ear ES changes cortical activity in tinnitus patients. One of the possible mechanisms in which ES influences tinnitus may therefore be a change in the cortical activity present within the left central temporal and frontal regions. However, whether this effect is primary or secondary to auditory system excitation remains to be investigated. Of the various forms of ES presented above, each may play a role in the tinnitus improvement observed in our study.
       
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    14. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      Go Mentos! Let us know if you get enrolled and you seek improvement.
      Best of luck.
       
    15. exodus
      Cold

      exodus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008
      guys,

      does anyone knows where exactly proceed as on the online information doesn t give these details:

      i have a tdcs system i could tweak to replicate what they ve done ,i need to know the step by step process.

      if anyone have any info on this

      thanks in advance
       
    16. Christian78
      Alone

      Christian78 Member

      Location:
      Gothenburg
      Tinnitus Since:
      (Sep 2013)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      progressive tinnitus, time of expiring in next 3-6 months
      procedure is specific, first you have to know frewuency of wavec and then frequency of repetition and then strenght oc curent, and tms that you have probably bet 2 cm undes the skull, far away from reaching deep brain stimulation

      I know i asked them in sweden who have simmilar but older device and they said well they need stimulation protocol, as it is very diferent from psikiatric depresion where they work to excite neurones, while if you do it wrong end up exiting neurone you might as well kill yourself immidietly after, as what is left is agony
       
    17. Mentos

      Mentos Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cracow, Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced, loud rock concert
      It took a while but finally i got enrolled and will start the treatment as of Feb 20th, which will last 2 weeks. The only thing is instead of direct ear electrical stimulation they recommended in my case direct ear magnetic stimulation. So I will trust the doctors and start with magnetic stimulation and then perhaps in case it does nothing to me we will decide whether to try electrical stimulation as well
       
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    18. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      Can you elaborate on those that have had either a positive or negative response from the stimulation?
      You say 'they need stimulation protocol'. That's the million dollar question. What protocol is specific to a given patient with tinnitus understanding that different neurons external to the auditory track can be misfiring for different patients with tinnitus. Determining which aberrant neurons has to be beyond daunting. With the dire consequence you suggest, hunting for these neurons randomly sounds to have ominous consequences if tinnitus is actually increased.

      Perhaps you could share a bit more.
      Thanks
       
    19. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      Congrats Mentos. Exciting stuff. Would be interesting to learn what is specific to your type of tinnitus that would warrant a given type of electrical versus magnetic field stimulation. No doubt you will learn more as you participate.
      We are all hoping for the best outcome for you.
      Best of Luck Mentos.
       
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    20. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Aren't they using an fMRI to figure out the hyperactive neurons while you are supposed to be hearing silence?
       
    21. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      Great question. I presume there must be a first test sound aka stimulus introduced to the ear which precipitates a corollary electrical response which somehow can be detected within the brain to deduce which neurons...generally neurons which are dormant adjacent to the highway of neurons responsible for hearing....which somehow have jumped the track of typical neuron firing responsible for hearing without tinnitus.

      Other than a MRI which can monitor brain activity, I know of no other technology than some kind of imaging that can detect how neurons fire when the brain is given a particular stimulus...in this case sound.

      Of course using imaging to determine the path of neurons firing, this begs the question, how localized are these aberrant neurons and within this tolerance or range, what sort of electrical or (magnetic) stimulus should be applied and precisely where to achieve the desired result.

      To me this is extremely primitive or a very early foray into the addressing the root cause of tinnitus. But a very important first step...to be able to somehow morph neuroplasticity back to how it was pre-tinnitus. If the neuron track to hearing can change with time to create tinnitus i.e. excitation of neurons without an auditory stimulus...say with a perfect storm of stress and related brain chemicals and physiological changes to the brain aka hearing apparatus, then possible to change it back directionally with electrical stimulus albeit, it has to be all in the technique and of course if done incorrectly can have perhaps even dire consequences as Christian suggested.
      To me if there is good news in a sea of daunting challenges to solving this, it is that people that are hard of hearing...a subset do not have tinnitus. This means that tinnitus does not have to be companion of some level of damage to the hearing apparatus. But then again, solving tinnitus which may be a form of epilepsy of hearing if you will...how to change the course of neurons firing in the brain has to be beyond challenging. I know it will be solved one day...but perhaps not by changing neuron firing within the brain...but rather intercepting the signal at the auditory cortex and filtering it electronically to remove the frequencies associated with tinnitus because bending the arc of how neurons fire in the brain seems like a hill almost too tall to climb or perhaps not.
       
    22. Christian78
      Alone

      Christian78 Member

      Location:
      Gothenburg
      Tinnitus Since:
      (Sep 2013)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      progressive tinnitus, time of expiring in next 3-6 months

      To two of guys has incresed, well protocol they call it, it is strenght and it is frequency of impulses and it is place. We have some machine in sweden, and it helps by exciting neurones etc, so you dont end up with faster tinnitus than disrupted... if you know what i mean
       
    23. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      Have you used the machine in Sweden Christian you mention? If so, what was your result?
      Thanks
       
    24. Christian78
      Alone

      Christian78 Member

      Location:
      Gothenburg
      Tinnitus Since:
      (Sep 2013)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      progressive tinnitus, time of expiring in next 3-6 months
      in tinnitus hospital in belgium i used it
       
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    25. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      I will repeat. What was the result of you using the machine?
      Thanks
       
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    26. Christian78
      Alone

      Christian78 Member

      Location:
      Gothenburg
      Tinnitus Since:
      (Sep 2013)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      progressive tinnitus, time of expiring in next 3-6 months
      2 guys had bed results, i did just 2x therapy no results
       
    27. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      I understand English isn't your native language. So, 2 guys had bad results...I presume this means, their tinnitus increased. Did you stay in contact with these two test subjects? Was their tinnitus spikes permanent? Was there any explanation given why the machine which is supposed to decrease tinnitus...why it increased it? Did the doctors interpret the wrong protocol, i.e. did they excite the wrong group of neurons?

      When you say 2 x's therapy for you. I assume you mean there was no change in your tinnitus in spite of undergoing electrical stimulation.
       
    28. Designer55
      Artistic

      Designer55 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      september 2012
      He Mentos. I have been trying to contact mrs Marzena Mielczarek for weeks. As far as i know she gives the treatment. Could you provide her contact details? She does not respond to email and i even have a cell phone which she does not answer. Maybe you have different doctor or clinic? Anyway, contact details would be appreciated. my email is peter@verwey.com
       
    29. Marlino
      Cowboy

      Marlino Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      Yes, LLLT is not working.
      But I like the idea of experimenting. Is somebody willing to join a workgroup to build a homemade device?
       
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    30. Marlino
      Cowboy

      Marlino Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      If two more fellows are in, I create a new thread for that and make a project plan
       

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