Hope for tinnitus sufferers

by Medindia Content Team on  April 1, 2002 at 10:46 AM General Health News   - G J E 4
Hope for tinnitus sufferers
People with tinnitus could be suffering from a similar brain distortion to that of amputees who experience phantom limb pain. For 5% of the population, the condition characterised by ringing in the ears, is chronic and debilitating. Researchers have launched a full-scale trial of a promising study suggesting that differentiating between computer-generated tones could help relieve the problem.

Unlike people without the condition, those with tinnitus have a disproportionately large region of their brain which corresponds to the frequencies of the rogue sounds. A distortion also occurs in patients with phantom limb pain who have a shrunken area of that part of the brain which represents the amputated arm or leg.

Researchers successfully treated amputees by asking them to identify the position and frequency of non-painful electric shocks applied to their amputated stumps. The corresponding brain areas were stimulated by the treatment, which led to growth of these areas and resulted in a 70% reported drop in patients' pain.

After training for two hours a day over four weeks the tinnitus sufferers reported a 35% reduction in the noises, while a control group prompted with unrelated tones showed no improvement. The team says that four weeks may not be enough to make a permanent difference but suggest that the longer the training programme the more patients will benefit.

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like