The Bionics Institute Claim They Have Found a Way of Objectively Measuring Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Research News' started by Ed209, Nov 19, 2020.

    1. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Dr Mehrnaz Shoushtarian claims she has found a way to objectively measure tinnitus severity and whether a person has tinnitus or not via fNIRS (functional near-infrared spectroscopy).

      I’ve read a few articles on this already. I’ll link two below:

      Technology lets clinicians objectively detect tinnitus for first time

      I found this statement rather interesting:

      fNIRS revealed a statistically significant difference in the connectivity between areas of the brain in people with and without tinnitus. Moreover, the brain's response to both visual and auditory stimuli was dampened among patients with tinnitus. When a machine learning approach was applied to the data, a program could differentiate patients with slight/mild tinnitus from those with moderate/severe tinnitus with an 87.32% accuracy. The authors conclude that fNIRS may be a feasible way to objectively assess tinnitus to assess new treatments or monitor the effectiveness of a patient's treatment program.

      AI that can diagnose tinnitus from brain scans may improve treatment

      Their study can be found here:

      Objective measurement of tinnitus using functional near-infrared spectroscopy and machine learning

      @Markku @Hazel, maybe you could reach out to her and see if she would be interested in doing an episode for the Tinnitus Talk Podcast?

      bionics-institute-divider.png
      From @Hazel:

      Good news: We have now published our interview with the Bionics Institute as the next episode of the Tinnitus Talk Podcast!

      For now, it’s available to Patreon supporters only, but never fear, it will be publicly available soon. Patreons will also have exclusive access to the video recording of the podcast. You can become a Patreon supporter for as little as $2 USD per month.

      It was a very interesting interview with a clearly very dedicated and capable brain researcher, Mehrnaz Shoushtarian (PhD). We spoke about the technical ins and outs of the objective measure, the underlying theories the work is based on, the future commercialisation of the technique, the ultimate impact the Bionics Institute is hoping for, and much more.

      We hope you will find the episode informative; let us know down below once you’ve had a listen!

      the-bionics-institute-tinnitus-talk-podcast.png
       
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    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
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    3. Pitseleh

      Pitseleh Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      NOW we're talking.

      This actually brought tears to my eyes.

      Some form of diagnosis was the change we needed. We're closer than it has ever got.
       
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    4. PeterPan
      Nerdy

      PeterPan Member Advocate

      Location:
      Sydney
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Heat Exhaustion
      This was discussed on Australian Radio National this morning.

      An means of objectively measuring tinnitus would be of great assistance in determining the effectiveness of treatments. They only used 25 people in their study; it would be interesting if more were used.

      Abstract
      Chronic tinnitus is a debilitating condition which affects 10–20% of adults and can severely impact their quality of life. Currently there is no objective measure of tinnitus that can be used clinically. Clinical assessment of the condition uses subjective feedback from individuals which is not always reliable. We investigated the sensitivity of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to differentiate individuals with and without tinnitus and to identify fNIRS features associated with subjective ratings of tinnitus severity. We recorded fNIRS signals in the resting state and in response to auditory or visual stimuli from 25 individuals with chronic tinnitus and 21 controls matched for age and hearing loss. Severity of tinnitus was rated using the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and subjective ratings of tinnitus loudness and annoyance were measured on a visual analogue scale. Following statistical group comparisons, machine learning methods including feature extraction and classification were applied to the fNIRS features to classify patients with tinnitus and controls and differentiate tinnitus at different severity levels. Resting state measures of connectivity between temporal regions and frontal and occipital regions were significantly higher in patients with tinnitus compared to controls. In the tinnitus group, temporal-occipital connectivity showed a significant increase with subject ratings of loudness. Also in this group, both visual and auditory evoked responses were significantly reduced in the visual and auditory regions of interest respectively. Naïve Bayes classifiers were able to classify patients with tinnitus from controls with an accuracy of 78.3%. An accuracy of 87.32% was achieved using Neural Networks to differentiate patients with slight/ mild versus moderate/ severe tinnitus. Our findings show the feasibility of using fNIRS and machine learning to develop an objective measure of tinnitus. Such a measure would greatly benefit clinicians and patients by providing a tool to objectively assess new treatments and patients’ treatment progress.

      https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0241695
       
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    5. Mentos

      Mentos Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cracow, Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced, loud rock concert
      Some clinics, like brai3n.com already uses qEEG to objectively measure tinnitus, so it's not fully true that fNIRS would be the first of brain imaging techniques used to measure tinnitus. Still, the more methods, the better.
       
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    6. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
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      I rang the Bionics Institute in Melbourne this morning.

      They are taking names of interested prospective participants.

      I mentioned that it would be great to interview Dr Mehrnaz Shoushtranan for the Tinnitus Talk community. They seemed receptive to this, and said they will forward this request to their marketing director. I dropped your names:

      @Hazel
      @Markku

      Also, Channel 7 are featuring a story on this tonight EST.
       
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    7. Orions Pain
      Sad

      Orions Pain Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A series of unfortunate events
      It would be cool to see a study utilizing this + Lenire. Also to see how the brain may change if a treatment is a placebo.
       
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    8. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

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      Screenshot_20201120-160340_Gmail.jpg
       
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    9. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Founder Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
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      Syringing
      Hi @DebInAustralia and @Ed209!

      This would, for sure, make for an interesting Tinnitus Talk Podcast episode. Let's try to coordinate this.
       
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    10. Pitseleh

      Pitseleh Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I may be misunderstanding what Brai3n is doing, but I believe the difference with fNIRS lies in that the AI also makes a distinction in tinnitus severity, which is of great importance.
       
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    11. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
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      The plan is to speak to the Doctor this coming Monday morning.

      I have invited @Samantha R to join us.

      She sounds receptive to sharing her research with us.
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
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      That’s awesome news.
       
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    13. xyz
      Alienated

      xyz Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006 mild T 2019 T worsening H onset
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown / probably noise induced
      I think there are different approaches to objectively measure tinnitus, but none of them have been approved so far. Hopefully the one which works in the end doesn't involve an MRI scan.
       
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    14. Gb3

      Gb3 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sshl
      Why not MRI?
       
    15. Orions Pain
      Sad

      Orions Pain Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
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      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A series of unfortunate events
      MRIs are dangerously loud. Lots of people here have tinnitus that was either caused by or worsened by one and it would be far from ideal for any of us as a way of measuring our tinnitus.
       
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    16. chinup

      chinup Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      It can spike noxacusis and likely spike tinnitus as well. It’s super loud.
       
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    17. Chriscom

      Chriscom Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
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      Likely infection/ear stress after walking pneumonia
      That's great, so thanks for looking into this and thanks to the others who learned of this and proposed it.
       
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    18. xyz
      Alienated

      xyz Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006 mild T 2019 T worsening H onset
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown / probably noise induced
      Because they are bloody loud.
       
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    19. weab00
      Gloomy

      weab00 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Joe Dart's basement
      Tinnitus Since:
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      Cause of Tinnitus:
      some good mf music
      If you're lucky enough you'll walk into it with a mild case and walk out with a brand slappin' new acoustic trauma.
       
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    20. UKBloke

      UKBloke Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / family history
      Volume.
       
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    21. Chriscom

      Chriscom Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Virginia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely infection/ear stress after walking pneumonia
      It's a risk but it's not automatic. I needed an MRI to rule out acoustic neuroma last year. I did some research to find one of the quieter machines in my area (major metropolitan area, so I had more choices than many), had it done (no neuroma, yay!), and escaped without any increase in my tinnitus. Nevertheless, it absolutely is a risk, and you have to weigh one risk against another. I wouldn't do an MRI to measure tinnitus.
       
    22. Gb3

      Gb3 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sshl
      I had an MRI about 8 months ago and it wasn't loud at all. The old machines maybe.
       
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    23. wwtsai
      Assassinator

      wwtsai Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
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      It definitely depends on the type of machine used and hearing protection provided. I had an MRI two months ago and while they used earplugs and cushioning over my ears, the machine was still extremely loud and unpleasant. Didn't affect my tinnitus but I swore from then on I'd never go for another MRI lol.
       
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    24. Orions Pain
      Sad

      Orions Pain Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
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      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A series of unfortunate events
      I think it comes down to how sensitive your ears are.

      Some have tons of MRIs with hardly any protection and don’t have any issues. Some have issues from new machines with double protection. Just like some play in heavy metal bands for 40+ years without issues vs someone going to one concert and coming out with permanent tinnitus.

      If you have hearing loss perhaps 100 dB doesn’t seem as bad vs someone who has hyperacusis but the point is even new machines can go to 100 dB and 100 dB is dangerous for our ears, regardless of how it’s perceived.
       
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    25. Soren

      Soren Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud sound
      With this I could finally get compensation from the work injury that gave me tinnitus.
       
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    26. Danny B
      Dreaming

      Danny B Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear syringing
      Huuuge news. A major breakthrough on the path to a cure. Very exciting times!!
       
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    27. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
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      I spoke to Bionics today.

      They've already tested 30 people prior to COVID-19. They're looking to test a further 70. They're recruiting now.

      I've put my hand up. It sounds like I'm in, once I sign on a dotted line.

      They're focusing on testing chronic, constant tinnitus. They're excluding anyone with additional neurological conditions.

      Subjects are exposed to quiet, visual and auditory stimuli (pink noise 65 dB).

      I'm waiting on more info to share.
       
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    28. PeterPan
      Nerdy

      PeterPan Member Advocate

      Location:
      Sydney
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Heat Exhaustion
      Is Sydney OK or is it Melbourne only?

      Also, is your tinnitus mild, moderate, severe etc?
       
    29. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      If you mean, are they recruiting interstate, I didn't ask that as I live locally.

      I'm not sure how to classify my tinnitus, but it's very vocal.
       
    30. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
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      I'm in the trial - 10th December.
       
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