Understanding Brain Activity in Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Research News' started by TinSci, Apr 12, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. TinSci

      TinSci Member

      Location:
      Nottingham
      Tinnitus Since:
      N/A
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      N/A
      Hi all,

      My name is Martin and I'm a second year PhD Student studying tinnitus at the Institute of Hearing Research in Nottingham. I wanted to post a little something to these forums to let you know about some research I'm currently doing (and recruiting for!).

      As I'm sure many of you are aware, the mechanisms of tinnitus and how it is generated and maintained within the brain are poorly understood at present. This makes it much more difficult to develop effective treatments and therapies as we don't fully understand what we need to target.

      We can study brain activity using a technique called EEG which is a non-invasive neuroimaging technique that measures the electrical activity of neurons through the scalp. Comparing this activity in people with tinnitus to people without tinnitus has revealed a number of differences however, the findings are rarely consistent between studies. Part of this may be because they are comparing tinnitus participants to non-tinnitus participants, so many of the differences seen may just be due to differing individuals and nothing to do with the tinnitus at all.

      Ideally then, we would like to be able to study the differences between tinnitus when it is there and when it is not in the same person. Residual inhibition (the temporary suppression of tinnitus following the presentation of a masker) may present a way in which to explore this. This project aims to look at the EEG data of people with tinnitus both when their tinnitus is active and when it is being temporarily suppressed with residual inhibition. This helps to solve the problem of uncertainty over whether changes in neural activity between people with tinnitus and people without are the result of tinnitus or just differing people.

      If you would be interested in knowing more about this work or participating in the study itself, please don't hesitate to get in touch by email at martin@ihr.mrc.ac.uk.

      Many thanks for reading!

      Martin
       
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    2. Silvio Sabo
      Pooptoast

      Silvio Sabo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Gothenburg, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise - I think
      You could also inject people with lidocaine. That eliminates tinnitus temporarily as well. However that might have other effects on brain activity so it might not be suitable. I'm just throwing it out there.
       
    3. TinSci

      TinSci Member

      Location:
      Nottingham
      Tinnitus Since:
      N/A
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      N/A
      Thank you for your thoughts Silvio! To my knowledge lidocaine is only effective in a small subset of people with tinnitus. For studies such as this it's important to recruit as many as you can and know that you'll be maximizing the amount of people in whom tinnitus can be suppressed. In this sense, residual inhibition is the more effective tool (studies put around 80% of people with tinnitus as being able to experience some residual inhibition). That, and perhaps more importantly, using lidocaine (or any drug) would result in a whole host of ethical considerations that my ethics approval just wouldn't cover! You are also probably correct. I'm not sure myself what other effects lidocaine would have on brain activity but it is highly likely it will be doing something!
       
    4. Silvio Sabo
      Pooptoast

      Silvio Sabo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Gothenburg, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise - I think
      Yea it was just a thought. I'm however glad you are preforming this analysis. It makes a lot of sense to do it this way. Comparing two different individuals is not the same as being able to compare tinnitus and tinnitus free brain in the same person.
       
    5. Bertman
      No Mood

      Bertman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      concert
      I hope you get the results you are looking for. A question though that may affect accuracy:
      - Does having external stimuli change EEG results in general? Because if so, then you may detect changes when there aren't any (and vice versa). May be a good idea to compare any changes from having and then not having external noise on both people with tinnitus and without and see if there are differences there as well.
      I have a hard time understanding how playing masking noises will show different results on us though, because even though we may not be able to detect tinnitus due to masking, our brain is still producing the noise.

      best of luck in your study
       
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    6. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      Martin, thanks for searching for answers to this affliction.

      I would suggest that instead of creating residual inhibition, that you find people with cycling tinnitus and measure their brain waves when the tinnitus is mild or imperceptible, and again when it's moderate or severe. There are many people with tinnitus who seem to have a pattern of on/off, with no apparent reason. Might be a good idea to do blood draws as well, because there could be something discernible in complete blood panels which correlate with these mysterious cycles.

      There are also people with tinnitus that gradually ramps up over the course of a few days until it's screaming in their head, then it drops down to very mild the next day, and repeats that pattern.

      Another good study is people who always wake up with blaring tinnitus after a short nap, even if their tinnitus was mild before falling asleep. (It may be difficult to get them to fall asleep in the lab.) Whatever is going on in a brief sleep cycle that triggers such extreme tinnitus, no one knows, but it seems to be a common occurrence, just as overnight sleep changes the volume for many people with tinnitus, from either good to bad or vice versa.
       
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    7. Mic
      Buzzed

      Mic Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media / Ear infection
      Pleased to read you are doing very useful research about tinnitus @TinSci.

      A personal experience of me may help you in setting up a study model if you can find comparable cases. The thing is that my bilateral high frequency tinnitus tends to 'glow' for some miliseconds on a higher volume after silencing similar sounding high frequency sounds. I first noticed this in between the silent periods of short bursting 'beeps' my alarm clock generates waking me up (confirmed the same phenomena also with earbuds and a signal generator).

      This could help you in neuroimaging tinnitus in the brain if you can capture those tinnitus neurons on higher volume in the milliseconds after silence with EEG.

      The big question now is... are there T-talk members like me experiencing this 'glow' or am I the only one with 'glowing' neurons... ;)

      Whish you success in your research!

      MIC
       
    8. @TinSci

      I am guessing you are aware of this, but some folks here may not be...

      There is at least one study using RI to look at brain activity when tinnitus was present and when it was not. It is, however, a case-study of a single patient. In that case the authors were able to use invasive monitoring. The paper (including supplemental material with discussion of the patient, tinnitus subtypes, and generalizability) can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425458/

      Good luck with your study. I hope you are able to obtain a large enough sample to explore subtypes - bilateral vs unilateral, measured hearing loss vs not, etc. Assuming there are people who do not achieve RI, hopefully you can collect data on them rather than sending them on their way.
       
    9. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      Hello Martin,

      I was wondering if you had read an article written back in 2014/2015 about the brains of those who developed "Tinnitus". Through tests done with an fMRI and subjects who had what we call Tinnitus, it was discovered that the brain changes plasticity in response to the difference in emotional processing. As explained in the article, most subjects who had developed Tinnitus, displayed an alternate pathway in response to the new processing of emotional information by using more areas of the frontal lobe instead of the amygdala which is most known for emotional processing, learning, memory, and even libido. It continues to state that researchers believe this change is to help control emotional responses and reduce "Tinnitus" distress, but it's very hard for me to agree with what these researchers are claiming.

      There are a large amount of users on this site that have claimed to develop "Tinnitus" from acoustic traumas and then there are plenty of others who claim to have suddenly developed a ringing from anxiety or stress. To simply put it, listening to music is one of the most viable ways to allow the brain to release feel good chemicals, or "emotions" and allow the subject to enjoy what they are hearing and feel better in the end. Since users on this site complain about noticing a moderately loud ringing in their head from anxiety or when they are experiencing stressful situations, wouldn't it make sense that they hear ringing because there has been damage to a region(s) of the brain that were active to allow the subject to not be experiencing what they currently are experiencing? That this region or many connected regions, since mappings of a brain with "Tinnitus" show a correlation with multiple sources inside it, were used as emotional processing to what a human experiences everyday? That the brain doesn't just change its plasticity to adapt to this new way of emotional processing, but that it's changed routing because that was the brains emotional processing. That's why subjects who heard sounds played for them while tested with an fMRI, showed what could be considered non-emotional responses to what they heard and displayed a much more logical processing through their frontal lobe decision making abilities. A study claims that emotions are what allow us to learn and process information. I've also noticed in researching online about how our brain functions, as we get older, somehow the brain starts to use much more of the frontal lobe in processing information than the limbic system and most certainly the use of the amygdala. Could that be why those who are much older have a harder time with short term memory/long term memory and can very often be associated with diseases like Dementia/Alzheimers? The amygdala and not just the Hippocampus is what helps us remember what we've experienced in our life. To blatantly put it, couldn't it be that this change in our emotional processing through the change in our hearing, is or could severely increase the chances of developing these disastrous diseases? I'd love to explain how the mechanisms of our hearing display actual chemical neurotransmitters which contributes to the thought that healthy "hearing" is how we experience true emotional processing, learning, and memory but there is a lot to explain and I would rather hear your thoughts on everything. I'm not sure if you can answer all of it but I'd love to hear your opinion.

      - Thanks


      Link to Tinnitus - emotional processing: https://news.illinois.edu/blog/view/6367/294544

      Link to Emotions - learning and processing: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150806091434.htm
       
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    10. wizman

      wizman Member

      Location:
      Paris (france)
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/1987
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      fireworks
      Residual inhibition time is so short (nearly non existent) and corresponds to the time brain reconnect to the T.
      Why not study people during masking periods and outside masking periods?
      The selection would concern only those lucky whose T is maskable.
       
    11. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Thanks for posting here, this is an area that really needs more understanding.

      I was unaware residual inhibition worked on so many people with tinnitus, it doesn't do a thing for me. I could be wrong, but my assumption is it works best on people with mild tinnitus.
       
    12. TinSci

      TinSci Member

      Location:
      Nottingham
      Tinnitus Since:
      N/A
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      N/A
      Hi all,

      Thank you for all your thoughts! There are quite a few, but I'll do my best to address them all.

      @Bertman : Yes, any external stimuli will have an effect of the EEG output. We are countering this somewhat by recording periods of just tinnitus as well as periods of masking and RI. We can then contrast activity between the no-stimuli periods and the stimuli periods to see what's changing. It isn't necessarily the periods while the tinnitus is being masked that is of interest to us in this study, but rather the period immediately after; during the temporary suppression. The tinnitus is likely to still be there, but any modulation in it will be measured by the EEG and (hopefully) recorded by the participant as well.

      @Cheza : That is certainly interesting! I haven't come across those particular tinnitus types so far in my studies. The present study is already underway, so changing it now would be unwise. However, those tinnitus types would certainly be interesting to study further in possible future projects. As for sleeping, well, if there is one thing psychologists are good at, it's making experiments that are dull enough for people to fall asleep in them!

      @Mic : Do you mean that when you play a tone similar to your tinnitus your tinnitus gets temporarily louder? I could be wrong (and don't by any means take my word for it, I'm not a clinician) but that would sound like something called residual excitation, which is the opposite of residual inhibition. I think it's rarer then residual inhibition, but I'm also not aware there have been many studies looking for it specifically.

      @Aaron123 : Yes, I have come across that paper. It was very interesting and a valuable and rare insight to the tinnitus mechanisms! We are essentially proposing to do something similar, but in more participants and non-invasively.

      @Nick Pyzik : I believe what Fatima and her colleagues are trying to say in that work is that people who rated lower tinnitus distress tended to process sounds through the frontal lobes (thought to primarily be used for decision making, logic and impulse control) rather then the more emotion based limbic system. And even then, only for emotionally affective sounds. However, this may not be the case if the participant were to choose a particularly emotive song they enjoyed as the sounds presented to them here were chosen from a database from a previous study. Are you then implying that the tinnitus is generated in the amygdala or in some way damages this processing pathway forcing the brain to re route through the frontal lobes? I'm not convinced this would be the case. It would imply that the more severe the tinnitus, the more damage to the amygdala, the more auditory emotional processing would get re routed through the frontal lobes and thus (if we assume Fatima's work is accurate) the less the bothersome the tinnitus becomes. As for the last part of your response, learning and emotional processing are outside my area of expertise, but I would agree with the consensus that as we get older we use our frontal lobes more. As we are young and learning the world around us, much of our learning comes from emotional processing ("I'll touch this pan, Ow! It's very hot, I'm going to be fearful about touching it next time"), so our amygdala is the driving force behind learning that lesson. Whereas as we get older, we have more experiences to draw upon so we can come to better and more accurate predictions about possible outcomes ("I'll touch this pan, but last time I touched it, it was very hot. It's likely to be the same this time, so I'll wait for it to cool down first") and so our frontal lobe takes over the decision making. I'm afraid I can't say much about the role of the amygdala in the processing and recall of memories, but as I've previously mentioned I'm not convinced there would be much damage to the amygdala as a result of tinnitus( I don't recall any studies into the area either). However, if you are aware of some studies about this then I would love to hear from you! It's certainly very interesting. As for dementia, I wouldn't like to comment on that, but I don't think there is presently a link between tinnitus/hearing loss and dementia other then the fact they are both more prevalent in the elderly.

      @wizman : One of the advantages of EEG is that it is very temporally accurate. It can detect changes in brain activity on the order of milliseconds, so even the slightest change will be picked up. We will also be recording data during the masking periods as well. Though it is likely the EEG signal will be dominated by the neural response to the masker sound.

      @Alue : Thanks for your thoughts! Yes, I took the data from a study with some 1,000 or so tinnitus participants. As for the mild tinnitus, we are also taking data about tinnitus severity, aetiology and various charateristics, so these things should show up in the dataset too.

      Thanks again for all your responses and I hope I've been able to answer them adequately!
       
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    13. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Its already been proven by studies that residual inhibition (if achievable) returns the electrical tinnitus activity to more normal levels (if not fully normal). The more the inhibition the more normal. Ok, so now what? You gonna study pharmacology to design a pill? Or are you gonna try to invent another high tech masker? lol @TinSci
       
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    14. Mic
      Buzzed

      Mic Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media / Ear infection
      Spot on! I am not a scientist but I do understand very well how the physics of sound perception works. It is all about converting the mechanical energy of sound waves in neural coding. We know a lot of how the pitch of a sound wave is converted in the cochlea but the explanation of the perception of volume in the auditory system tends to be underexposed in literature (especially when you know that our sensitivity for sounds of different frequencies is not a linear formula, which is illustrated in the graphic below).

      upload_2016-4-15_21-45-0.png

      When I was encountered for the first time with the sound of my very own T I compared it with a defective amplifier of a stereo system. Going on from this comparison maybe T is caused by a defective neural amplifier that is amplifying unnecessary noise from the frequency receptors of the cochlea...

      This theory would explain Hyperacusis, damaged neural amplifier amplifying sound more than the normal threshold, the characteristics of the hissing sound many T sufferers experience, it is practically noise on random frequencies that is amplified by the defective neural amplifiers, and residual excitation in my case, a defective neural amplifier that is lazy getting back to its 'normal' T state. Residual inhibition could also be connected to this theory if you parallelize the neural amplifiers for different pitch levels. The inhibition by neighbouring, and normal functioning, neural amplifiers after an external (noise) sound is stopped overwhelms the defective neural amplifier and compensates for a short time period the amplification of the defective one.

      Again... I am not a scientist but I have read a lot about this subject. So maybe you can consider this theory from your own perspective as a scientific specialist on this matter...

      Good luck!

      MIC
       
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    15. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      Yes, very true about the Frontal lobe. I do believe that the auditory system, starting from the nerve fibers of the auditory nerve are inter-connected by neurons from the limbic system and to all other areas of the brain . It can be simply understood by looking at a depiction of our brain when listening to music. I'll include a jpeg of what I'm speaking of below. Brain imagings of one listening to music shows a fully lit up brain. I don't believe there is any other activity that allows the brain to function like that. Our hearing, meaning the neurons that allow our brain to emotionally process sound, is the gateway into a synchronized and fully functioning brain. There are many neurotransmitting factors associated with our hearing. GABA, Dopamine, Glutamate, Acetylcholine, etc. These neurotransmitters are what allow one to feel emotions everyday when functioning properly to where they can keep strengthening the neurons and brain cells that make up the grey/white matter of our brain. Those researching Alzheimers state that the brains of those that have the disease have very low ACh levels. There is a reason those levels begin to become depleted as one ages. Shrinking brain matters mean there aren't enough neurons being created while older neurons have began to die out. The brain needs emotions. Emotions are what create strongly formed neuronal connections throughout the brain. It's why recently developed Alzheimers medications designed to stop Beta-Amyloid plaque from forming in the brain are not going to return full functions back to the subject. I'm very confident that my theories with our "hearing" and "emotions" are what allow the brain to perform at its highest level and allow that person to experience life like they did when they were much younger. My grandmother has Alzheimers that is critically reducing her ability to interact with other people and most certainly remember what she is doing. The amygdala has to play a role in this and also most certainly the hippocampus. The neuronal connections that I believe are lost due to changes in the auditory system through either loud noise or what can be considered age-related factors are what overtime cause someone the Alzheimers. It's such a hidden characteristic of the main problem because it's something that disappears slowly and without any traces to be followed until the brain begins to lose matter and the subjects own memory, actions, and properties begin to dwindle down. Also, I believe the plasticity of It's sad to see my Grandmother act like a young toddler when she is out in public with us. What is happening to her and what I've been experiencing have only pushed me to further my research with this disease, hearing, and the human brain.

      Aside from that, the amygdala plays such an important role with our ability to recognize fears and past memories like you explained with touching something hot. That's understandable because of the nerves all throughout our body including the tips of our fingers that have touched that hot object. It's funny, a lot of times when I'm eating out with my Grandparents, my Grandmother doesn't react to something that is very hot anymore. She will literally slurp down searing hot soup that has just been served to her or super hot coffee. She downs it. I'm not sure if that could have any correlation to the deterioration of her amygdala from Alzheimers but I believe it has to be. Yes there is learning involved with touching something hot since it cause pain and the amygdala will allow the brain to realize what not to do next time, but there is much more deeper understanding to how our hearing and the amygdala are associated. We "hear" sound waves and it's the emotional function nerves/neurons of the auditory system that allow the brain to form new neurons and strengthen old ones associated with past memories that have been interconnected with those spiral ganglion neurons of our hearing. If our hearing involves neurotransmitters like I explained above, then ones levels of aCh and other levels involving dopamine, serotonin, and GABA, have to be in connection to this sensory stimuli. Yes, we visually receive information, yes our sense of smell can bring back memories, yes we can touch objects and get a feel of the area we are in, yes we can be stimulated by our sense of taste, but there is SO much more information that can be received through our sense of hearing if operating correctly. The brains re-routing from the limbic system to much more of the frontal lobes is what I believe not a good thing. I believe our real emotions are associated with the limbic system depending on if a person was born like that. A study has shown that new nerves take the place of the original neurotransmitting in-going nerves that were apart of our auditory nerve before damage took place or in other words "age-related changes" happened. This most likely is associated with the rerouting of the amygdala to frontal lobe take place with a patient who has/had Tinnitus.

      I have very few clinical studies of information I'm stating but I what I do have is what I've experienced in the past and what I'm experiencing now to back up my theories and researched information. I dislike the fact that there has not been much research regarding the amygdala, Alzheimers, and our hearing. When my hearing was functioning pretty well a few years ago and up to about 6 months ago, I was able to recall a memory easily and could easily visualize what i saw and what sounds/words were heard in that moment. I had a much more deeper complexity to the memories I could make then. Now, with how my hearing has been, I have trouble recalling memories of times with my family, friends, and information I've taken in. I can easily credit the supplements I'm taking to being able to remember what I can. I'm able to remember information I've read, but any sort of sound I've heard in the past months I have a terrible time recalling. I have much shorter memories of things I've done now as they are very weak and also my motor skills have changed throughout this short period of time. I'm glad I can still think in my head about all this information, but it's my ability to take in information that has changed completely and slowed down very much.

      It's sad that I have to start such a new path in the life I have to live now so that I can prove what I believe has happened to my hearing, has happened to others, and how it has to be associated with brain degenerating diseases like Alzheimers and Dementia. My previous life just meant way to much to me for me to give up on what has happened. I apologize for writing this out like I need sympathy, but I'm doing this so people put some sort of effort into realizing what is going on with me and how it can relate to other issues associated with the brain. I'm hoping that one day I can conduct clinical studies for most of the theories I have. Med school here I come.

      Let me know if links are needed to some of the information I've written out above.
       
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    16. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      The auditory nerve fibers of our auditory system are what amplify the sounds picked up by each specific region of hair cells in our cochleas. The more in-going nerve fibers we have on each hair cell frequency, the better the quality it will sound in our brain, the more precise the frequency will be heard, the louder it will be, and much more emotion will be associated with it since they function as a neurotransmitter. I've said this before, but we praise the hair cells inside the cochlea as what give us the ability to hear sound well, but I simply have to deny the fact that those beliefs are not true. It's the process of our brain turning up it's "gain" inside the auditory system when we lose those in-going nerves that causes us to cringe at sound wave frequencies picked up by the hair cells that were associated with those lost nerves.
       
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    17. Path Maker

      Path Maker Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      @Nick Pyzik I think you are very bright and very intuitive and I find your posts and thought processes refreshing! I love it when people delve into new ways of approaching problems and think and theorize creatively. I just read the above thoroughly, and a few questions came to mind. Mainly, with regard to your idea that there is loss of cognitive functioning from the hearing loss, I don't tend to agree with it the way you've stated it. Do you think that your troubles remembering, etc. since you acquired tinnitus might have more to do, perhaps, with the concentration difficulties imposed from the tinnitus itself? I know I have a somewhat harder time sustaining attention for as long as I could, due to the ringing making me stop a cognitive activity sooner than I used to. Sometimes I can focus as deeply and as long as I did, and sometimes I find myself putting the reading down to rest and then picking it up again. Sometimes my thought processes are fine, when I manage to tune out the ringing, and sometimes I just have to get more physically active to deal with the sound. I haven't seen any decline, however. I continue to learn, create, write, and function as well as before, except for that "length of time I can concentrate" factor. So that's one question. Another I have relates to the emotional component that is linked to hearing. Of course it is, and it's no doubt a deep one. But I know a lot of deaf people, and their emotional functioning is as deep as anybody's, albeit they've had to compensate for their hearing loss. But the thing is, they do compensate. And what kinds of motor function do you feel you've lost? I've actually seen a gain in motor skills (well, I'm studying tai chi); but I also just in general haven't noticed any loss of motor skill. I'm interested in your responses to these three questions. I love that your mind has been spinning so deeply with all this.
       
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    18. Christian78
      Alone

      Christian78 Member

      Location:
      Gothenburg
      Tinnitus Since:
      (Sep 2013)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      progressive tinnitus, time of expiring in next 3-6 months
      Carolinskainstut sends me papers and formulas as they are doing same, but one has to do EEG first to find similarities in brain as with the answers. There are people who have same problem, symptoms and answers , and when you apply same treatment it does not work.
       
    19. Christian78
      Alone

      Christian78 Member

      Location:
      Gothenburg
      Tinnitus Since:
      (Sep 2013)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      progressive tinnitus, time of expiring in next 3-6 months

      This effect is know, and documented that brain incresses t after short nap, but if you are tired and fall a sleep 4h and wake up your t is not severe, but 1h it is.
       
    20. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      Thanks for reading through my post Path Maker. Regarding my Tinnitus, I can't even call it that sort of name anymore. The way I'm able to process and hear noises throughout the day now have completely changed over the past 5-6 months. It was almost as if my hearing was changing more and more as each week went by. I had what I'm sure most people have on this site last summer. It was a slight annoying ringing but yet, my emotions were still intact and I could still get enjoyment out of music I loved. Fast forward to today (including the past 2-3 months) and I can't even listen to music through headphones because any noises going on around me block out my ability to process the sound I hear from the headphones. I feel no pleasure from any sort of activities involving such a thing (no exaggeration at all, I literally feel nothing now). I also have no changes in how I feel throughout the day except if I feel that I'm making progress with my plan to discover what happened to me or there is a newly discovered treatment for my hearing issue. The only way I hear any sort of noise from my hearing now is if I'm in a very quiet room or I block out any other noises around me. It's not a concentration issue due to what we call "Tinnitus", it's really the change my brain has gone through that's causing these issues. Everything I've found online, everything I experienced before, and everything I'm experiencing now all makes sense to me. I just now have to be extremely patient and keep sharing my theories to people. The worst part about all this is not being able to feel pleasure from anything anymore. I've built up my will and self control over the past year from things like meditation, cold showers, and keep a very nutritional diet intact, but it's very difficult living a life like this now.

      To make things worse, I've gotten no help from any sort of medical doctor, audiologist, neurologist, ENT, psychologist except for giving me simple talk about what's going on or telling me to take medication to fix the problem. I believe I understand way to much about what has happened to me to listen a single bit to what those in the medical business are telling me. So far, I'm pushing through each day, thanks to my healthy lifestyle now, but I'm not sure how much longer it's going to last.
       
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    21. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Part of what you describe sounds like anhedonia to me. I had it before my acoustic trauma, and still have it today. It can be a symptom of depression, but I really think it can be a neurological issue independent of depression.

      Though I'm not discounting what you are saying with regards to nerve damage, I have noticed I hear music differently now and I do not find it enjoyable at all, I used to love music, but it's just noise to me now and my ringing tries to compete with it.
       
    22. bill 112
      Studious

      bill 112 Member

      Location:
      Republic Of Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      I use to love the sound of modified cars,especially my car.Not overly loud mind you but sporty.My car has a 6 cylinder turbo charged engine and I use to start it and sit down just to listen to the burble.Before my T and H returned in March I did this nearly everyday,I'm an engine audiophile:)But now,nothing.I get no pleasure from it anymore it's just noise to me now,I hear it clearly but it's now my enemy,something that hurts me,it's no longer my friend.I have no hearing loss supposedly but I do believe my auditory nerve has been affected.
       
    23. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      Alue, thanks for the support. I've looked into Anhedonia and was actually reading more about it today. Sadly though, I don't have Anhedonia because that's just a name of a disorder created by this medical world to give satisfaction to a person who wants an answer to there issues. I'm not that kind of person. I stubbornly understand way to much of what's happening to me to accept having the name of a disorder. If so, then I also have Schizophrenia, Severe Depression, Bipolar Disorder, etc. I've seen many specialists who could of told me I had those things yet I've just been told I'm depressed. It's funny how it's been discovered that all these "disorders" are connected to the same loss of brain matter. I can easily see symptoms of those brain disorders in me, but I push myself past all that and keep my self under control to the best of my ability. Sadly, just because I don't show signs of those symptoms to a doctor I'm speaking to, then that means I don't have it from there standpoint. The changes I've made in my lifestyle now have helped me learn self control, patience, and have allowed me to handle what is considered "stressful situations". I'm passed being diagnosed with names of disorders. I can have the highest medical doctor in the world tell me what kind of disorder I have. That doesn't matter at all to me. What matters is discovering what scientifically has happened in my brain from the resources and information I can still process in my head.

      I don't mean to sound rude in this post though. I'm just literally stating my thoughts on what I really want. Have you done some research into what's been going on with you Alue?
       
    24. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Anhedonia is a symptom not a disorder. I'm sure most doctors or psychiatrists will tell you it's a symptom of depression, but I think other things can cause anhedinoa and one doesn't necessarily have to be depressed. Like tinnitus, you can't expect much help for anhedonia from doctors.
       
    25. nimx

      nimx Member

      Uhm, I developed tinnitus for a severe traumatic stressfull situation lasted 3 years and had a psychological breakdown. It is a long story of psychological traumas in my life, so I'm glad I got T and severe anxiety because it told me "You have to change your vision of life", I started to know myself and to work on myself. So yes I think T has to do with emotional processing, indeed in my case. I still guess that in cases like mine it can be a sympton that can save you. Anyway, when I got severe anxiety (and Pa) and bit of depression I couldn't enjoy anything obviously, nor music I loved to listen to. Now I almost recovered with lot of work (mainly emotional work, meditation, and reframing life perception) and I'm much better, even than before I got T and that breakdown, on many aspects of my life. Now I can enjoy playing / listening to music again, it gives me those emotions I used to feel, again.
      So, I can't agree completely with Nick Pyzik, oh well, not at all. If it's something to do with your brain, be sure you can do much to train it to recover and get even better than how it worked before you got T, at least this is my experience. It sounds to me your are mainly depressed, but sure, we are all different and I may be wrong, still I believe you can work on it whatever caused your T and get back to enjoy life.
      Just to be clear, no my T has not cured completely, but if at the beginning (it was a 7/9 T) it contribuited to disrupt my so-called life (which was full of fears), now it is much much lower (about 1-4) and it doesn't bother me anymore, who knows maybe one day it will fade away as I'm still learning much about myself and my emotions which is leading me to live a fuller life than ever.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    26. i.m
      Anime

      i.m Member

      Location:
      The "Lack of English" Land: Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      For me: Aspartame Poisoning. For Ent: L: TMJD / R: Dunno
      This is exactly what Julian Cowan Hill thinks about T, that is something that will fade when the body is completely relaxed and outside every stressful emotion.
       
    27. nimx

      nimx Member

      Yeah, oh well, to tell the truth I don't think the "cure" is to be out of any stressfull emotion, that would also mean avoidance to me, which can worsen things, because you can't avoid stress (which is also positive and usefull if not chronic) but more about managing stress and learning from it and from stressful or painfull emotions, they are our guides just like good emotions so we have to listen and make these emotions our friends, changing our relation with them.
       
    28. i.m
      Anime

      i.m Member

      Location:
      The "Lack of English" Land: Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      For me: Aspartame Poisoning. For Ent: L: TMJD / R: Dunno
      In fact in his books he suggest to attend the CBT to manage the stress ( also he suggest craniosacral therapy, but this is another fact ). Also ( this is my suggestion instead ) I find usefull Mindfulness to create other cognitive path to overcome our negative emotion / thoughts.

      However, above all, it all depends from the person and how he/she acts towards the presence of T. There are a lots of distorted news and / or stories around the internet that make every type of acceptance very hard to get.

      For example today i saw the sad story of "Gaby Olthuis" ( if you are new to T, DO NOT SEARCH!!! ) and I am feeling quite scared. These are cognitive distortions, and without any appropriate psychological help, they may worsen the situation.
       
    29. nimx

      nimx Member

      I agree about mindfulness, since I found Cbt alone to be good just for fix part of the "superficial" problems, but doesn't do much for the emotional part.
      Ok, be sure I'm going to search for Gaby's story :D
      edit : Just read it, uhm doesn't scary me, looks like tinnitus was there but despide the fact she was a psychologist, it's clear she couldn't manage the severe depression she has fall into, nor she recognized it (yea, this is scary). Oh well, I'm sorry for her, but she was clearly a bad psychologist, at least on herself. As I already wrote, my T was very high at the beginning, but what causes troubles is our emotional response to it, not the sound itself.
       
    30. Bertman
      No Mood

      Bertman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      concert
      I just remembered another way to get possible residual inhibition that may be helpful in your study @TinSci.
      There are a few different methods but it involves covering your ears with your hands/finger and then repeatedly tapping the base of the skull or onto of the finger covering the ear. For many people it seems to work for several seconds, which should be plenty of time to record results. I feel this is an easier method to acquire residual inhibition (I guess because all the replies on the thread I am about to post and a little bit of personal experimentation) than going from masking sounds to silence (as not too many people on here seem to be able to achieve that).


      Edit: I didn't realize it was a part of a bigger thread on reddit so it is probably much to difficult to navigate and find all the responses of that comment, I believe there is a thread on this site called finger tapping/drumming or something to that effect
       

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