Treatment Prospects: Vagus Nerve Stimulation

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

    1. marqualler
      Nerdy

      marqualler Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Minneapolis, MN
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection / Mild Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      This is fascinating. We may not be able to reap the benefits of research like this in our lifetimes but we can pay it forward by learning it about it now to help future generations.

      Thanks for sharing, @Sound Wave!
       
    2. Inge
      Cool

      Inge Member

      Location:
      california
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      benzodiazepine withdrawal
      I don't fancy an expensive surgery and VNS implant either, but I found a company called electro core that developed a non invasive VNS handheld device called the gamma core. You place it on your neck a few minutes a day and the current is transferred through the skin. Caveat, although the company is located in the US, it is not FDA approved. You can only buy it in Europe and Canada.
       
    3. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      tVNS is a treatment without surgery. For example a Helsinki based T clinic offers this kind of a treatment. The page is in Finnish: http://www.tinnitus.fi/fi/TINNITUKSEN HOITO/Vagushermostimulaatio/

      I have a modified TENS-device with a vagus nerve stimulation electrode, which both are very cheap and simple technology, around ~$50. Interested ones can hack that together relatively simply.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. erik
      Cool

      erik Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012 or earlier?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I don't think a tens device or anything over the skin can effectively stimulate the vagus nerve like a medical grade implanted device otherwise there would be no need for it in the first place.
      VNS3-300x249.jpg
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
    5. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      ^ I agree, they must be different in terms of efficiency. However, you REALLY feel the tVNS stimulation, trust me. It's quite a zap what you feel, when the power is set too high. :)
       
    6. Silvio Sabo
      Pooptoast

      Silvio Sabo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Gothenburg, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise - I think
      Right, this is because it actually zapps you. It goes to the skin wheras the real VNS stimulation device goes to the intended target, the Vagus Nerve. The nerves in the skin are the ones then are giving you this sensation. This is basically a proof it's not working as intended.

      The nerves in the skin are going to conduct all of the electricity to somewhere else as they're not connected directly to the VN. The VN is also protected by a myelin sheath and is sitting deep into the tissue so none of the electricity should be able to get through to the VN.

      So they're probably not different in efficacy, they're just different. I consider the tVNS device to be a self tazing device rather then a VNS stimulation device.

      It probably works better in dog training then treatment of tinnitus.
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
      • Like Like x 1
    7. Tong

      Tong Member Benefactor

      Location:
      singapore
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dont know
      Does the modified device work in your case, Sound Wave?
       
    8. dan26
      Frustrated

      dan26 Member

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1981
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      complete loss of hearing. motorcycle accident
      i dont think i would want something implanted in my chest. i have the CI already and thats enough. Inner part replaced after 3 years due to an assault. Wherever there is a surgery you get scar tissue and i think from the CI i have worse balance (heavy head) as a result. I'm also wondering if babies crying (110db) would affect tinnitus. My T has gotten lots worse since baby being born about 1 year ago.
       
    9. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      I have just tried it once @Tong. The device works, but I can't comment on the affect on T.
       
    10. Christian78
      Alone

      Christian78 Member

      Location:
      Gothenburg
      Tinnitus Since:
      (Sep 2013)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      progressive tinnitus, time of expiring in next 3-6 months
      There are reports people getting tinnitus from baby cries, specially if is lay on your chest and suddenly screem
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. AndyM

      AndyM Member

      @Sound Wave , I am very interested in giving this a try! Do you have any instructions? In particular where to get hold of a vagus stimulation electrode? I've tried searching online, but can't seem to come across anything suitable. Many thanks!
       
    12. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      I couldn't find them either. It's a very simple clip-on-thing which has to be available somewhere - maybe get one from another device that uses them? This Helsinki based T clinic sells these devices - http://tinnitus.fi
       
      • Like Like x 1
    13. lapidus

      lapidus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      VNS is covered in this recent article:
      http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/43843/title/The-Sounds-of-Silence/

      "The proof-of-concept trial was followed up by a larger-scale study of 30 patients at four sites in the U.S. that concluded this April. The most common side effect was a hoarse voice, but otherwise the treatment is considered safe. Results from the trial will be published this autumn, but Engineer says that the data look promising."
       
      • Like Like x 1
    14. Dawn Whinetaker

      Dawn Whinetaker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      Hey guys, glad I found this thread- I've managed to get a tVNS device from England. On the company's site they say they are partnered with the a Helsinki clinic. I've been using the treatment for about a week now... they say results are seen between 8-12 weeks, so we shall see. This is the site.
       
      • Useful Useful x 1
    15. markoana

      markoana Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2.2013
      Keep us updated on this thread.

      Good luck!
       
    16. Mathieu Groleau

      Mathieu Groleau Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      forever
      Hello @Sound Wave. are you trying to stimulate your VN through the ear VN connection, or through the neck directly? Do you have more details on your montage and Tens device settings please?
      I tried once at the ear VN connection (left side, Auricular Branch of the VN), with anode (+) electrode right outside the ear canal (see image http://www.nature.com/gimo/contents/pt1/images/gimo2-f7.jpg and http://img.medscape.com/pi/emed/ckb/clinical_procedures/79926-81306-82698-110282.jpg) and another just behind the same ear, using a Foc.us V2 device on tPCS (pulse) setting @ 1 mA, 30Hz, 20%, unipolar, 15V limiter for 40 minutes. Parameters where deduced from tVNS device manuals and studies.
      I haven't had the time to set a regimen yet. Will try every 2 days soon. I need to get a better electrode to fit my ear. Lack of good contact is causing voltage to go up. I would love to get a hold of an electrode like this https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/46620951/tVNS_Electrode_1.png or this https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/46620951/tVNS_Electrode_2.jpg
      BTW, for the DIYer out there, do not try this on the right ear as the nerve connection on that side can cause heart rate irregularity. Cheers!
       
    17. Mathieu Groleau

      Mathieu Groleau Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      forever
      Hello @Dawn Whinetaker , are you in the US or Canada? How did you manage to get your hands on this device? I'm in Canada and they mention on their site they don't ship to US and Canada. Thank you!
       
    18. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      @Mathieu Groleau I haven't used the device at all. I have posted more info about this somewhere here some time ago.
       
    19. Dawn Whinetaker

      Dawn Whinetaker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      I am in the US (in Alaska, actually). I've got a friend from England who was visiting and I asked her to buy it and bring it over. I've actually had a small reduction in my tinnitus since starting the treatment which I'm very happy about but it's too early to attribute it directly to the tVNS.
       
    20. markoana

      markoana Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2.2013
      How your device looks like?

      Update us, and wish u every luck!
       
    21. Dawn Whinetaker

      Dawn Whinetaker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      I'm not getting to ahead of myself but I've had a real drop in my tinnitus now. I'm very impressed with this treatment so far. The device is a small white flip unit with one lead that clips onto your ear with a small clip electrode. I'm not the best at explaining it, but you can see more here- http://www.tinnitustreatmentcentre.com/transcutaneous_vagus_nerve_stimulation_sound_therapy_technology.html

      The treatment is a combination of tVNS and sound therapy, 1hr a day, every day. It wasn't cheap at 600 pounds ($930 US dollars), but thats a lot less than I have paid for other treatments that have been unsuccessful. If you are in the UK you can also rent the treatment at 40 pounds per month.
       
    22. ChrisJ

      ChrisJ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      PT since 1988. T with H since June 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Sorry if this has been asked already but how is this any different from a TENS machine that can be bought for £60 from Boots with ear clip adapters and a $10 app which can play custom masking sounds? I just can't help but see more marketing than science and someone cashing in on the desperation of tinnitus suffers. Sorry for my bias.
       
    23. ChrisJ

      ChrisJ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      PT since 1988. T with H since June 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      In the Boots TENS machine manual it says you can criss cross the positive and negative electrodes to reach deeper tissues. I have been doing it myself with varying degrees of success, it does take a bit of fiddling. Here is an example illustration:

      M578woO.png

      And looking at the Tinnitus Treatment Center website their SaluSTIM device looks a lot like my £60 Boots TENS Machine, compare:

      CRwudNj.png
      SaluSTIM™ £599

      gwnBxqp.jpg
      Regular £60 TENS Unit from Boots!​

      If they claim that somehow the electronic pulses are bespoke to your Tinnitus frequencies then the TENS unit allows you to adjust frequencies. To me if this treatment works at all I would say it's simply a distraction device designed to take your mind away from the tinnitus. And what they heck, if it's psychological I don't care, as long as it works. But I think spending hundreds of dollars on it is a bit much.

      Anyone on here with a TENS unit can try it out and report back. I will be doing this and taking detailed notes. Could save people a lot of money and aggregation.

      cc @AndyM also see my post here for arrangement of electrodes. I will try different placements and report back with results.
       
    24. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      It looks like the sound therapy component is notched music according to the TTC website:

      "Sound Therapy treats your tinnitus by omitting your unique perceived frequency of tinnitus from your music. "

      It is possible you are getting a reduction in volume from that. There is a thread about it elsewhere on TT. I guess the big question is whether the effect is enhanced by the application of the electrodes. And also how lasting it is. Good luck anyway.
       
    25. erik
      Cool

      erik Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012 or earlier?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
    26. ChrisJ

      ChrisJ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      PT since 1988. T with H since June 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Why?
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    27. erik
      Cool

      erik Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012 or earlier?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Because I need to understand how things in this world fit my own reality and because I can't always accept that things are the way that they are because that's the way it is. I guess that is why I hang out on TT daily.

      "The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see."- A.K. Trenfor
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    28. ChrisJ

      ChrisJ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      PT since 1988. T with H since June 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
    29. Dawn Whinetaker

      Dawn Whinetaker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      Honestly I'm not sure how it's different from the TENS machine. My friend from England read a newspaper article on this particular machine and I thought it would be worth trying. I know certain TENS machines can be upwards of the same price. Granted, there are cheaper ones- but as with any technological product, the more it costs, the higher quality it is. Unfortunately there are a lot of marketing schemes out there ready to take advantage of tinnitus sufferers, but because of my improvement thus far, I honestly don't think this product is one of those 'schemes'. I am curious as to, when I stop the treatment, how long the improved condition will last.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    30. Dawn Whinetaker

      Dawn Whinetaker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      Having suffered for quite some time, the fact that my tinnitus is lessoning is certainly a positive thing for me. It will be interesting to see if it can have lasting affects, though. Needless to say, decreasing the volume and annoyance of my T has been a HUGE blessing to me- so I do feel it was worth trying.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1

Share This Page

Loading...