'Doctored' Music may Ease Tinnitus Pain

by Trilok Kapur on  December 30, 2009 at 7:17 AM Research News   - G J E 4
 'Doctored' Music may Ease Tinnitus Pain
Listening to individually designed music may spell the end of pain for tinnitus sufferers, say researchers.

According to the research team from Westphalian Wilhelms University, individually designed music therapy may help reduce the noise levels experienced by people who suffer from tinnitus.

Tinnitus causes ringing, buzzing, roaring, hissing or whistling.

In the year-long study, participants' favourite music were altered to remove notes which matched the frequency of the ringing in their ears.

The individuals reported a drop in the loudness of their tinnitus.

The theory behind the new technique is that removing the spectrum of noise associated with tinnitus from the music reduces activity in the brain relating to that frequency, alleviating the condition.

Lead researcher Dr Christo Pantev, from Westphalian Wilhelms University in Munster, said the approach specifically targeted the part of the brain responsible for tinnitus.

"The notched music approach can be considered as enjoyable, low cost, and presumably causal treatment that is capable of specifically reducing tinnitus loudness," BBC News quoted Pantev as saying.

"It could significantly complement widely-used and rather indirect psychological treatment strategies," Pantev added.

Dr Ralph Holmes, director of biomedical research at deaf and hard of hearing charity, RNID, said he would look in detail at the findings.

Holmes said: "While we find it encouraging there is new investment in treatment for tinnitus, we know there is no proven 'cure'."

Source: ANI

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