Treatment Prospects: Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Discussion in 'Research News' started by Markku, Mar 8, 2011.

    1. II Packy II
      Doubtful

      II Packy II Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2012
      Thank you. She said she won't waste time on something that shows no clinical effectiveness and judging from how the so-called device works, she'll make a decision on whether I belong in the VNS study.
       
    2. J. Wing

      J. Wing Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/1999
      Good Luck to you. I'm here in the U of Iowa Hospital Tinnitus Clinic(Iowa City)area and i'm being considered for the VNS study. I'm at the stage right now of finding out as much as possible of the study to see if there is any negative side effects of the treatment.
       
    3. bill 112
      Fine

      bill 112 Member

      Location:
      Republic Of Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Best wishes to you guys really hope it works for you.
       
    4. II Packy II
      Doubtful

      II Packy II Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2012
      My appointment is on June 10, because apparently Shawna Jackson is the busiest audiologist in North America or something :p. Glad to hear that we have actual participants or considered individuals for the study. Hey! Someone has to play the lab rat right?

      Thanks to the supporters, but this is more about than just myself. Almost every time I mention Tinnitus, someone tells me they have it as well, but they did not know what it was. This in and of itself is reason enough to rid the world of the invisible monster.
       
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    5. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      I just noticed that I might be able to use my TENS-device as a t-VNS device. For example the t-VNS device I have tried (details in this thread) has specs (pulse width 250µs, pulse freq 25Hz, intensity 0-0.8mA) I can replicate with my TENS-device. I would just have to replace the standard TENS electrode to a t-VNS 'ear electrode'.

      Does this make sense to you? Too risky? :) Any electrical wizards here?! (ping @Markku)
       
    6. Stina
      Psychedelic

      Stina Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tartu
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Honestly looking at the video about the representative of MicroTransponder speaking about the survey about how much patients would be willing to invest into a treatment really puts me down. 10 000 dollars for the device, or even worse, 50 000? I dont know if that is a big sum in the US but I will probably never-ever have that type of money to pay on an implant. On the other hand I understand that pharmaceutical companies want to make money. Seems a little hopeless.
       
    7. erik
      Cool

      erik Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012 or earlier?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I agree, unless they can make this more accessible and especially more affordable to people, this will be another tinnitus treatment device which is out of reach for 99% of people who need it
       
    8. Stina
      Psychedelic

      Stina Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tartu
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Agreed. I wonder whether 40% of the people actually said that they would be willing to pay 10 000 for it? If a person is not able to work due to tinnitus as the man stateds I wonder how they will get that money, rob a bank? It sounds a bit made up.
       
    9. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress

      It is a huge sum in the USA for an average person--I could never afford it-- and insurance companies don't cover any tinnitus devices as they are considered "experimental". If I go for TRT I will have to pay for the treatment/equipment. I had to pay $6,000 USD for my husband's hearing aides. I went into debt to do it. I'm saving money now from each paycheck in case I need TRT.

      Pharmaceutical companies only want to make money--there is nothing altruistic about them. :(
       
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    10. Stina
      Psychedelic

      Stina Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tartu
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Exactly! For us hearing aides pays the same (4000 euros). I suppose just like Microtransponder Autifony and Auris Medical are not going to hold back, either. I wouldn't be surprised if they asked thousands of dollars for a shot or box of medicine. Note that the guy from MT says - they are willing to pay ten thousand out of their own pocket, which means that if insurance covers it partially, in reality it could cost even more, not to speak about the very limited number of doctors who are capable and willing to do the procedure.
      Just like you, I also had the idea of scientist being humane and actually interested in the wellbeing of patients. I guess I am naive and stupid.
       
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    11. t-man
      Suicidal

      t-man Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Ten to fifty grand is not a whole lot of money for new technology. If this is a proven, effective treatment, the price of manufacturing may go down with demand.

      Even if not, you can't expect anything to be cheap involving medical treatment. Anyone here diabetic? They know what I'm talking about.
       
    12. Stina
      Psychedelic

      Stina Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tartu
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Sure, but I would not be able to cover it anyway. In Estonia the treatment for diabetes is not cheap as well of course, but the insurance covers quite a lot. (A family friend has it). 10 000 would be definitely out for me, although perhaps some people might be able to afford it. Perhaps I should consider selling myself to get money..
       
    13. Relic Hunter
      Cynical

      Relic Hunter Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1990
      My local news just had a special segment on Tinnitus and the new "miracle" cure Vagus nerve stimulation. If one did not have tinnitus and was watching this they would come away with 2 viewpoints. One that the device is the wonder cure and 2 that tinnitus is no more than a mere nuisance for those who have it.

      This was the first time I have ever even heard the work tinnitus mentioned on the local news.
       
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    14. Jacob_zjm

      Jacob_zjm Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      year 1990
      If anything really working for chronic/severe tinnitus appear,it won't be welcomed by so many people relevant in ENT,TRT,hearing-aid device industry,paychologist,pharmaceutical factory,massagists,etc as those people will lose their importance and business. That means we shall fully respect and give best wishes to those who are now making real effort in treating chronic tinnitus ,and make no complain even if the new stuff(if effective) charge high price after it come to market. what can be compared to saving life ? and guess whay they will feel if they see our tinnitus sufferes' attitude here?
       
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    15. Stina
      Psychedelic

      Stina Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tartu
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Well my point was that if you look at the video, then the man doesn't say there that manufacturing this device is that expensive. He is talking about a marketing survey and claiming that this is what the sufferers are willing to pay. He also mentions there the per cent that is not able to work or really do anything due to tinnitus, and says that they are willing to pay that type of money. Sure, its good for the people who are actually able to pay such a price, however, as Eric said it wont be an option for most patients. If thats the case, I dont think we can speak so much about an effort to treat chronic tinnitus, but rather an effort to get as much money out of sufferers as possible.Medical companies have never been ethical.
      That being said, it is always possible that they will go half and half with the insurance companies or smth like that so maybe its not ass bad as it seems from the video though. If you want to watch then on the the 1st page on this thread there is a video and it will give you links to others.
       
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    16. Jacob_zjm

      Jacob_zjm Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      year 1990
      I respect your idea. My point is the market and product's effectiveness will help them decide the final price. If this is a noneffective product,even one dollor is expensive. If it is effective,they have the right to decide the price while we have the right decide to go or not go for it. It is still too early to discuss the price now before anything come into being,just wait and see its effectiveness after trial.
       
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    17. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      Am I the only one who gets excited about t-VNS devices that cost ~500€? Or 50€ if one can modify TENS-devices to work as t-VNS? :)

      I personally wouldn't even want an implanted device into my body, if I could use a portable one X hours per day with audio therapy. If the implanted VNS device does something that the external t-VNS device doesn't, then it's of course a different story...
       
    18. erik
      Cool

      erik Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012 or earlier?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Also keep in mind MicroTransponder has raised millions in private funding and they need to make a profit to appease their investors. Recently a Hepatitis C drug came under fire for its cost--$1000 a day which equaled about $84,000 for a full course but cured Hep C in 90% of people. Some call it good business, some call it greed. So in this respect MT is really no different. This device has been in development for years and there are costs associated with this. Starkley, hearing aid maker published an article last year about making a $100 hearing aid: http://hearinghealthmatters.org/hea...-say-you-can-make-a-100-hearing-aid-go-ahead/
       
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    19. Stina
      Psychedelic

      Stina Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tartu
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Bleh I understand it all but I hope perhaps smth cheaper will be available too:( I dont think all the sufferers have that type of money..
       
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    20. II Packy II
      Doubtful

      II Packy II Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2012
      People also discount the fact that businesses have to become more efficient in their production of specialized products in order to sell them for less cost. It's called an economy of scale. Some people are just greedy don't get me wrong, but the larger the production, the more efficient you need to be in order to reduce overall costs.
       
    21. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      This has been stated before and this is why i believe that there will never be a one time magic pill to cure T.. Its gonna be like an alergy pill or an AD to take everyday to lessen or completly get rid of T, and like an anti depressant if you miss your dose, the T will creep on back up. The world is greedy and like some said all the T specialists and ents, etc will loose there buisness with treatments regarding TRT and habiutation and loose millions and millions of dollars. But then say an effective T pill comes out to treat the T, the money there gonna loose on TRT sessions and the habutation devices will be gainned back by people refilling there T pill every month, which if available to the worldwide they will probably double there money because not everyone with T seeks help. Most habuitate on there own, and those that are like that find out that theres a T pill now to take to get rid of it will jump the gun also. It would be the whole world getting this pill.. Theyd be prescribed like AD and be making loads of money. Start tackling this problem like its a problem, and dont just think everyone can live with it by saying there are treatments for T... Cause TRT is a wonderful godsend, its the best case scenerio as of 20 years ago, today, and tommorrow but its time to start digging harder into this devils core and ACTUALLY treat it... Sooo nerve stimulation and Autifony are a great start :)
       
    22. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      Basically all that rambling was just suggesting that an overly costly treatment that not everyone can afford will not do good in terms of them making money cause only the ones that can afford it will do it. If they make it affordable worldwide they will be making bank.
       
    23. Snake Plissken
      Crappy

      Snake Plissken Member

      Location:
      Chester
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/13
      I'm sorry you feel that way dude but TRT really helped me. I know someone who suffered for over a year, before finding total relief with TRT, and I have heard anecdotes of people suffering 30 years and finding relief with TRT.
       
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    24. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      From Ivanhoe Medical News (http://ivanhoe.com/channels/p_channelstory.cfm?storyid=33074)

      Reported April 4, 2014
      Stopping Tinnitus in its Tracks--In-Depth Doctor's Interview
      Dr. Sven Vanneste, Associate Professor at UTD, talks about a new surgery that is stopping tinnitus in its tracks.
      So, how does vagus nerve stimulus work?
      Dr. Vanneste:
      Well, based on animal research, when you stimulate the vagal nerve you can actually induce changes in the brain and we know in tinnitus patients that there is a hyperactivity and hypersynchrony in a specific brain area, which is called the primary auditory cortex. Basically what you do is tell the brain all the sounds that you’re hearing are important, but because you do not present the tinnitus tone you tell the brain all the sounds are important except the tinnitus tone. That’s the basic idea behind it.
      But how do you do that with simple electricity?
      Dr. Vanneste:
      Well, what we know is when you stimulate the vagal nerve, you actually activate some neurotransmitters that are really important. And because you do vagal nerve stimulation, paired with sound therapy, you really can have an effect where you want it to be. So in this case, it is in the primary auditory cortex. Maybe, there are also other regions that might be involved and that we change, but that’s something that we still have to do research on.
      Can you explain exactly how you do it, where you implant it, and how it works?
      Dr. Vanneste:
      The surgeon is making an incision around the neck close to the throat and there is the vagal nerve and it’s an electrode that surrounds what you can actually see it over here, that surrounds the vagal nerve. The lead connects to what we call an IPG, an implantable pulse generator, it’s basically a battery. And, we can communicate with that specific device via computer. So, each time that we present a tone, we can also send a trigger to the IPG that the vagal nerve needs to be stimulated, so that’s basically how we do it.
      Do you leave the stimulator in and for how long?
      Dr. Vanneste:
      For the clinical trial, we will leave the IPG in there for at least 12 weeks and after 12 weeks, the patient can decide.
      How many times during the day would a patient get a treatment?
      Dr. Vanneste:
      So, the treatment is 2-1/2 hours a day for 5 days a week and they receive about 300 stimuli each session. They can also decide when to do it; they can do it in the morning, afternoon, night, it doesn’t matter.
      Do you have to be in the clinic to get?
      Dr. Vanneste:
      No, so when we did the first trial in Belgium, they had to come to the clinic because we didn’t have the internal pulse generator yet. So it was a big device. But now, a company made specific IPG that is implantable. So the patient can do the treatment at home.
      Does it hook to their computer or what?
      Dr. Vanneste:
      Well, it’s wireless so and they just have to turn on the device to see if it connects with computer and just run the program.
      So in Belgium, what have your studies shown there?
      Dr. Vanneste:
      So in Belgium, we had promising results. It was just a pilot study. We implanted it in 10 patients and 5 patients had a response. Five patients didn’t have a response, but interesting thing was that those patients took certain medication that probably blocked the effect, but because it was a pilot study, our idea was we were going to include all types of tinnitus patients just to get more knowledge.
      Of the five that it helped, was it a 10% help? Was it a 90% help?
      Dr. Vanneste:
      No, four of them had a very good response, they had a 44% suppression rate which is really a very good response compared to other treatments that we already tried. That’s just for the mood component. So, in tinnitus, you have two components, you have just the sound as it is, but also some people are really stressed by their tones, so for the mood component, we had a 44% suppression rate and then for the loudness, well, we noticed that it was 26 DB, decibels improvement.
      So, what you’re doing here could really give some people a chance at a normal life, correct?
      Dr. Vanneste:
      That is our hope. So I have to say a lot of patients with tinnitus can live with it. They say, “I hear the tinnitus, but it’s doable.” But some patients are really desperate because of their tinnitus. It really affects their daily life, so for those patients this could be really helpful, absolutely.
       
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    25. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      From The Buffalo News

      The University at Buffalo is participating in a study of an implantable device that helps retrain the part of the brain involved in hearing.
      Researchers are searching for a new treatment for tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing in the ears.
      UB is one of four institutions implanting the experimental device. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is being done through a cooperative agreement with MicroTransponder Inc., a Dallas-based medical device company.
      Tinnitus affects about 10 million Americans and is a major disability of veterans.
      The UB part of the trial is being conducted through the Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences.
      UB is recruiting 10 volunteers for the study.
      Interested individuals must have had tinnitus for at least one year and must meet other criteria.
      Those selected for the study will undergo an outpatient surgical procedure in which an electrode will be placed on the vagus nerve in the neck with a lead to a processor about the size of a cardiac pacemaker implanted in the upper chest. The device uses vagus nerve stimulation and sound to retrain the auditory brain.
      Email buffalo.tinnitus@gmail.com to learn more about eligibility requirements.
       
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    26. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
    27. Champ
      Woot

      Champ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Boston, MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma from headphones
      I saw a news clip on Hyperacusis once and they made it seem kind of "goofy" that these people couldn't even have real plates at their wedding because the sound hurt their ears.

      Network journalism blows.
       
    28. calin
      Inspired

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      If this has been posted, please remove. I haven't kept up here and I did a search and this title did not come up as being posted.

      Agency is seeking patients suffering from chronic 'ringing in the ears'

      ear_SS36021.jpg
      THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Volunteers are being recruited for a clinical trial to test a new method to treat ringing in the ears, the troubling condition known as tinnitus.

      The technique being studied uses nervous system stimulation to "rewire" parts of the brain in an attempt to significantly reduce or eliminate tinnitus. If it proves successful, it could offer hope to millions of Americans with the disorder, according to the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), which is funding the study.

      "Tinnitus affects nearly 24 million adult Americans," NIDCD director Dr. James Battey Jr. said in a government news release. "It is also the number one service-connected disability for returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. The kind of nervous system stimuli used in this study has already been shown to safely and effectively help people with epilepsy or depression. This therapy could offer a profoundly better way to treat tinnitus."

      During therapy, patients hear a series of single-frequency tones through headphones. At the same time, stimulation is delivered to the vagus nerve, which runs from the head and neck to the abdomen. When stimulated, the vagus nerve releases chemicals that can rewire the brain, the researchers explained in the news release.

      Previous studies in rats and humans suggested that vagus nerve stimulation could be effective in reducing or eliminating tinnitus, according to the NIDCD.

      The new clinical trial will include adults who have had moderate-to-severe tinnitus for at least a year. They will undergo daily 2.5-hour sessions of vagus-nerve stimulation and audio-tone therapy over six weeks.

      The trial will be conducted at four centers through an agreement with a Dallas-based medical device company called MicroTransponder, Inc. The centers include the University of Texas at Dallas, University at Buffalo in New York and the University of Iowa. A fourth center will be announced later this year.

      "This trial has the potential to open up a whole new world of tinnitus management," Dr. Gordon Hughes, director of clinical trials at the NIDCD, said in the news release.

      "Currently, we usually offer patients a hearing aid if they have hearing loss or a masking device if they don't," Hughes said. "None of these treatments cures tinnitus. But this new treatment offers the possibility of reducing or eliminating the bothersome perception of tinnitus in some patients."

      More information

      The American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery has more about tinnitus.

      SOURCE: U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, news release, March 6, 2014
       
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    29. calin
      Inspired

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      Here is more detailed paper on this. It sounds logical to me!

      Vagus Nerve Stimulation:
      New Potential for Tinnitus Relief

      http://tinyurl.com/oyklrpe
       
    30. Mr. Cartman
      Artistic

      Mr. Cartman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Thank you so much for posting! :) Very interesting trial indeed :)
       

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