Chronic tinnitus is a persistent ringing in the ears that affects about 23 million Americans and one-third of active duty military veterans. Scientists from UT Dallas recently demonstrated that chronic tinnitus is not in the ears but results from pathological activity in the hearing part of the brain.
UT Dallas researchers have demonstrated that treating tinnitus using vagus nerve stimulation-tone therapy is safe and brought significant improvement to some of the participants in a clinical trial. Researchers used a new method pairing vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) with auditory tones to alleviate the symptoms of chronic tinnitus. VNS is an FDA-approved method for treating various illnesses, including depression and epilepsy. It involves sending a mild electric pulse through the vagus nerve, which relays information about the state of the body to the brain.
Scientific Reports: Pairing sound with vagus nerve stimulation modulates cortical synchrony and phase coherence in tinnitus: An exploratory retrospective study
Scientific Reports: Vagus Nerve Stimulation Paired with Tones for the Treatment of Tinnitus: A Prospective Randomized Double-blind Controlled Pilot Study in Humans
Neuromodulation: Safety and Efficacy of Vagus Nerve Stimulation Paired With Tones for the Treatment of Tinnitus: A Case Series
UT Dallas News Center: Clinical Trial Brings Positive Results for Tinnitus Sufferers, UTD News Center