Tinnitus May Not Originate In The Ear Study Finds

Discussion in 'Research News' started by erik, Dec 2, 2013.

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    1. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Tinnitus may not originate in the ear - NewsFix.ca

      The brain may generate ‘phantom’ noise, giving rise to the symptoms of tinnitus, say researchers in Germany.

      The brain may generate ‘phantom’ noise, giving rise to the symptoms of tinnitus, say researchers in Germany.
      Tinnitus can be a chronic and very distressing condition. It involves the experience of buzzing and ringing sounds in the ear, even though there is no obvious source for the noise. Sometimes the cause is an ear infection, or wax in the ear, but sometimes there is no obvious reason for the sounds.

      Doctors at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, now wonder if the symptoms of tinnitus may originate in the brain itself, rather than the ear. They looked at a group of 14 patients with intractable, chronic tinnitus, and tried the effect of blocking off activity in the areas of the brain concerned with hearing. They did this with a method called focused magnetic stimulation. Most patients experienced at least some relief when the region known as the left temporoparietal cortex was stimulated.

      The researchers think this suggests that tinnitus may be like ‘phantom’ pain, which is often experienced by people who have had a limb amputated. The brain continues to generate false pain signals, as if they came from the absent limb. It may be that with tinnitus, the brain generates false sound signals in a similar way. This was only a small study, but it points towards a fruitful direction for further research for those suffering from tinnitus.
       
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    2. Valentin

      Valentin Member

      Location:
      Thailand
      Tinnitus Since:
      17/08/2013
      This is what jastebroff, de ridder and others concluded long time ago LOL

      the only strange thing is the study in 1995 which shows out of 150 patients, 100 didn't hear tinnitus after their nerve got cut.
       
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    3. Meestijn
      Balanced

      Meestijn Member Benefactor

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Do you have a link of this study? I thought these numbers where much lower. Your reference suggest a 'success' rate of 66% when cutting the nerve?
       
    4. Valentin

      Valentin Member

      Location:
      Thailand
      Tinnitus Since:
      17/08/2013
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    5. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      I disagree with the idea that tinnitus "does not originate in the ear". There is the "initiation" phase of tinnitus, when it starts, which is usually in the ear due to hearing loss. For some people, it initiates other ways (probably due to a mix-up of sensoral signals with auditory neural signals). But for most of us, it starts in the cochlea, when a few cochlea hairs get damaged.

      After the initiation of tinnitus, the brain creates the viscious cycle which keeps the sound going. This is not a new idea at all. 1/4 of people with hearing loss get tinnitus. Jastreboff explains the cycle in neuropsychological terms.

      I believe that if an electrical engineer could make a circuit diagram of the auditory system, then we would understand what is causing tinnitus, in terms of synaptic neural currents. But since doctors don't think like engineers, they never seem to be able to grab a pencil and draw the problem schematically.

      Lately, on this website, I've been reading about some interesting and very promising future drug therapies for tinnitus. However, if these drugs are to be applied to the cochlea, I'm a bit skeptical about how these drugs will fix tinnitus. As this German study explains, tinnitus is in a brain circuit, not the cochlea.

      Ideally, if we could have a tinnitus drug delivered to the specific areas of the brain causing tinnitus, that would fix the problem. But how can a drug be delivered to specific nerves without drugging-up the entire brain? There are drugs that can quiet down the offending nerves in the brain, however they also quiet down the entire brain in the process, making a person feel dopey.
       
    6. Jake
      Irritated

      Jake Member

      Location:
      Lawrence, KS
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      I hate to say it, but stuff like this makes me think that an effective treatment may be farther away than we had hoped...
       
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    7. Meestijn
      Balanced

      Meestijn Member Benefactor

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      That is exact the same thoughts I have. If above really is the case and T 'moves' from the ears to the head/brain than I believe a cure is more than decades away :(.

      Above may also explain why probably I more and more get the feeling that my T moves/or get more active in my head instead in my left ear (where the T originally made its appearance)!

      But at the other hand, we never ever should give up hope, how harsh T is to us at the moment!
       
    8. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Jake -
      Please read this thread by Dr. Chris Heddon: Why do we accept that HL and T are the 3rd most prevalent chronic diseases in the world? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum

      That thread is the most promising news I have read about the steps toward finding tinnitus drugs. A lot is happening.

      Personally, I don't understand how a drug delivered to the cochlea will work. I think the problem is behind the cochlea...and how can you get to that area without drilling a hole in the skull? But I hope I'm wrong!

      I just wonder, when pharmo-companies make statements about developing tinnitus drugs, has anyone tried the stuff? If only we knew that, for sure, these drugs are really going to work!

      - Karl
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      So many suffers so little help.
       
    10. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Seems to be that this study or one very similar is not that new after all

      http://speech-language-pathology-audiology.advanceweb.com/Article/Focused-Magnetic-Stimulation-for-Tinnitus.aspx

      Focused Magnetic Stimulation for Tinnitus
      Unexplained and severe tinnitus can be reduced temporarily in some patients by "jamming" the electrical activity of the brain with focused magnetic stimulation, according to a preliminary study (Annals of Neurology,December 2002). The results confirm that some phantom sounds are generated by abnormal activity in the brain itself.

      "Controlled clinical trials are now necessary to evaluate whether this method can permanently reduce and thus cure tinnitus," said senior author Christian Gerloff, MD, of the University of Tuebingen in Germany.

      Many people experience tinnitus, defined as the perception of sound in the absence of an obvious source, at some point in their lives. For most of us, it is a temporary and benign oddity with a host of causes, such as ear infection, blockage of the ear canal, or medications such as antibiotics.

      For more than 40 million Americans, however, tinnitus is an ongoing problem. It is especially prevalent among the elderly and those with some degree of hearing loss. According to the American Tinnitus Association, an estimated 12 million people in the United States seek medical attention for the disorder, and approximately 1 million are affected to the point of disability.

      In some cases a mechanical sound source, such as a damaged artery or other blood vessel disorder, can be identified and treated; but for most forms of tinnitus, there is little effective treatment.

      "Recently, neuroscientists have brought forward a new concept that postulates similarities between tinnitus and chronic pain," said Dr. Gerloff. "According to this concept, sounds that only the patient can detect might be some sort of 'phantom' auditory perception similar to phantom pain."

      This theory suggests that abnormal brain activity is creating the illusion of sound in the absence of acoustic stimuli.

      In order to investigate this possibility, Dr. Gerloff and his colleagues used focused magnetic stimulation to temporarily interfere with the activity of specific brain regions in 14 patients with intractable, chronic tinnitus. They focused their attention on auditory association areas, regions of the brain known to specialize in the processing of auditory input.

      When researchers stimulated the left temporoparietal cortex, an area of the brain that contains several auditory association areas, tinnitus was temporarily reduced in most patients. There was no statistically significant reduction when other brain areas were stimulated.

      Only eight of the 14 patients experienced tinnitus relief during more than one of the five stimulations of the left temporoparietal cortex, the authors noted. One patient reported a slight temporary worsening of the tinnitus, suggesting that the situation is not as simple as the nerve cells in the temporoparietal cortex being the source of all tinnitus sounds.

      However, the findings do provide clues for further research, Dr. Gerloff said. "Knowing that these brain areas are functionally relevant for tinnitus makes them a primary target for modern therapeutic approaches based on brain stimulation methods."
       
    11. jes
      Familiar

      jes Member Benefactor

      Location:
      copenhagen denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012
      I am quite sure ,that in the momnt the right drug reaches the cochlea,the noice in the brain will stop,but I am not 100% sure.

      Wonder what the 200 recourgeres are doing on a daylig basis.I can understand that they do not want to communicate with TT.
      I think that they do not want to have their Work evaluated by the many T informed and specialists in TT.
      Much of it (I guess because I dont know as long as they do not tell us) has to do with psykologi soundtherapy and cognitive processes,a waist of Money and time,they can learn all about that from tinnitus talk.

      Most of these Money Pentagon 100.000.000.000 and a lot of other Money should be put in licitation.Doctors ingeniores inventors TT people. Anybody that has a good idea or a project.The project should be followed and if there was no result it should be stopped.so others can try.

      These with haircellreg.are ok. but WHO wants to wait 10 years in T condition.We want to have something now and in the near future.

      Each year when they make a public statement,they just make a copy of last years statement,and the near future has moved one year.What we get in the real World is the veganerve and mutebutton (expensiv and does it work?).Jes
       
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