Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Initial success for new tinnitus treatment

Date:
November 21, 2013
Source:
University of Texas, Dallas
Summary:
Scientists paired vagus nerve stimulation with playing tones to decrease the symptoms of tinnitus, a debilitating disorder of ringing in the ears affecting many U.S. veterans and seniors. VNS-tone therapy significantly reduced symptoms in 4/10 patients with effects lasting for more than two months.

For the study, a stimulation electrode was implanted directly on the vagus nerve of 10 tinnitus sufferers. They received 2 hours of daily treatment for 20 days.
Credit: UT Dallas

UT Dallas researchers have demonstrated that treating tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, using vagus nerve stimulation-tone therapy is safe and brought significant improvement to some of the participants in a small clinical trial.

Drs. Sven Vanneste and Michael Kilgard of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences used a new method pairing vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) with auditory tones to alleviate the symptoms of chronic tinnitus. Their results were published on Nov. 20 in the journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface.

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.

“The primary goal of the study was to evaluate safety of VNS-tone therapy in tinnitus patients,” Vanneste said. “VNS-tone therapy was expected to be safe because it requires less than 1 percent of the VNS approved by the FDA for the treatment of intractable epilepsy and depression. There were no significant adverse events in our study.”

According to Vanneste, more than 12 million Americans have tinnitus severe enough to seek medical attention, of which 2 million are so disabled that they cannot function normally. He said there has been no consistently effective treatment.

The study, which took place in Antwerp, Belgium, involved implanting 10 tinnitus sufferers with a stimulation electrode directly on the vagus nerve. They received two and a half hours of daily treatment for 20 days. The participants had lived with tinnitus for at least a year prior to participating in the study, and showed no benefit from previous audiological, drug or neuromodulation treatments. Electrical pulses were generated from an external device for this study, but future work could involve using implanted generators eliminating the need for clinical visits.

Half of the participants demonstrated large decreases in their tinnitus symptoms, with three of them showing a 44-percent reduction in the impact of tinnitus on their daily lives. Four people demonstrated clinically meaningful reductions in the perceived loudness of their tinnitus by 26 decibels.

Five participants, all of whom were on medications for other problems, did not show significant changes. However, the four participants who benefited from the therapy were not using any medications. The report attributes drug interactions as blocking the effects of the VNS-tone therapy.

“In all, four of the ten patients showed relevant decreases on tinnitus questionaires and audiological measures,” Vanneste said. “The observation that these improvements were stable for more than two months after the end of the one month therapy is encouraging.”

Researchers at the University Hospital Antwerp, Belgium, and MicroTransponder Inc. also contributed to the study.

A larger study involving four different centers will soon begin in the United States.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas, Dallas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dirk De Ridder, Sven Vanneste, Navzer D. Engineer, Michael P. Kilgard. Safety and Efficacy of Vagus Nerve Stimulation Paired With Tones for the Treatment of Tinnitus: A Case Series. Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, 2013; DOI: 10.1111/ner.12127

Cite This Page:

University of Texas, Dallas. "Initial success for new tinnitus treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121091211.htm>.
University of Texas, Dallas. (2013, November 21). Initial success for new tinnitus treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121091211.htm
University of Texas, Dallas. "Initial success for new tinnitus treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121091211.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins