Multisensory Attention Training for Treatment of Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Research News' started by jazz, Jun 4, 2015.

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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
      The authors test if attentional training--in the form of multisensory stimuli--is able to reduce the tinnitus precept. The result was successful and beneficial effects occurred in a shorter time period than other behavioral techniques e.g., cognitive behavioral training. I'm sure other attentional approaches--such as video games being designed in Boston, MA, or brain training exercises--like Posit Science offers--would achieve similar results. It would be interesting to compare this study with other multisensory devices/tests designed to reduce tinnitus, such as the Mute Button.

      Here is the article's abstract:

      Tinnitus is the conscious perception of sound with no physical sound source. Some models of tinnitus pathophysiology suggest that networks associated with attention, memory, distress and multisensory experience are involved in tinnitus perception. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a multisensory attention training paradigm which used audio, visual, and somatosensory stimulation would reduce tinnitus. Eighteen participants with predominantly unilateral chronic tinnitus were randomized between two groups receiving 20 daily sessions of either integration (attempting to reduce salience to tinnitus by binding with multisensory stimuli) or attention diversion (multisensory stimuli opposite side to tinnitus) training. The training resulted in small but statistically significant reductions in Tinnitus Functional Index and Tinnitus Severity Numeric Scale scores and improved attentional abilities. No statistically significant improvements in tinnitus were found between the training groups. This study demonstrated that a short period of multisensory attention training reduced unilateral tinnitus, but directing attention toward or away from the tinnitus side did not differentiate this effect.

      The full text is available here:

      http://www.nature.com/srep/2015/150528/srep10802/full/srep10802.html
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    2. Sjoerd

      Sjoerd Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09-2013
      Interesting. One thing I do not like about most tinnitus studies is that they show results in some kind of tinnitus handicap index or something like that. Scientifically probably a nice tool. I would like them to just show minimum masking levels in dB SL (correction, the do in this study, well, not MML but tinnitus loudness match).

      On the positive side. This kind of treatment does remind me of mirror therapy for people with chronic pain. Get people to pay attention to the training. Try to teach the brain that the current prediction of sound is wrong. I strongly believe that tinnitus is nothing more than a prediction error of the brain. Training like this might actually help.

      I know that we do not like these kind of treatments....we want a pill and be done with it.
       
    3. Sjoerd

      Sjoerd Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09-2013
      Very little comment about this study....why?
       
    4. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      Seems like it just teaches you to ignore your tinnitus. We already have approaches that do that.

      Not exactly a novel idea, and not the type of relief people on these forums seem to be looking for.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      learning to ignore Tinnitus is just bollocks! ... anyone can ignore a little headache ... no one can ignore full blown headache ... trying to say to someone, just learn to ignore your full blown headache will only get you a deserved slap in the face.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    6. Sjoerd

      Sjoerd Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09-2013
      They do claim a loudness reduction of 4 dB after 20 day's. To me this does not seem like any other sound therapy with the soul goal to change your attention to tinnitus (or your reaction).
      I can understand that if you have massive tinnitus you do not like these kind of studies. But....if you told somebody years ago (whom has phantom limb pain in the arm) that looking in a mirror for a while can relieve you from the pain. They would slap you in the face. And it is not even limited to pain, it can also work for phantom sweaty hands, phantom my arm feels double the size etc etc.

      Why do we never read anything like this for phantom sound? This study is not about ignoring tinnitus, it is about attention training to multi sensory stimulus. Not at any time they ask you to train yourself to ignore tinnitus. And some how (although the results are not great) it seems to get there much faster compared to TRT. what mechanism is driving that.
       
    7. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      The study also had no controls (altough I am not sure what the control would be in a study like this I admit).

      They also included a significant number of people who only had tinnitus for less than 6 months. There was even a person who only had tinnitus for 1 month!

      It's just not a very convincing study and looks like it requires lots of commitment.
       
    8. Atlantis

      Atlantis Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      It's too bad these attention training treatments won't reduce the loudness.
       

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