Tinnitus Suppression Study Involving Acoustic and Electric Stimulation

Discussion in 'Dr. Stephen Nagler (MD)' started by Darin Grebel, Dec 13, 2019.

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    1. Darin Grebel

      Darin Grebel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dr. Nagler,

      I am so glad I found you again. Your former board was a life raft to me many times as I have traveled this journey.

      My question is this. Through an ATA support group I was made aware and have been invited to participate in a Suppression Support study involving Acoustic Stimulation (delivering sounds via headphones), and Electric Stimulation (delivering current through transcranial stimulation, and ear drum stimulation).

      Do you think this is worth my time? Is there any danger? I am learning to, as you say (paraphrase) "not want to have tinnitus but learning to not care". It is my life and I will live it!
    2. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician Benefactor

      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Thank you for the kind words @Darin Grebel. I am glad to know that the postings on my former board made a difference for you.

      If you are interested in participating because you feel that tinnitus research is important in general, then it may well be worth your time. If your goal is to be among the first recipients of an effective treatment, then it's really a judgement call because even if you are randomized to the treatment arm, most tinnitus studies wind up showing little if any efficacy over placebo. Moreover, if the treatment is truly shown to be efficacious in curing tinnitus or lastingly mitigating its intensity, it will likely be widely available in short order. I am not pro or con participation in such studies; I am just stating the obvious. Now, in terms of whether or not there is any danger, you will undoubtedly be asked to sign a waiver form that will spell out the dangers in detail. My suggestion would be to read the waiver form carefully line by line and make up your own mind. The question that I would be asking myself specifically regarding the study to which you refer above is: If the electric stimulation is strong enough to make a lasting improvement, what is the chance that it might lastingly make things worse?

      I just want to add that my opinion above comes purely from a point of logic rather than as a result of any particular medical insight.

      Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.
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