Tinnitus is that unpleasant condition which causes ringing in your ears, as well as a series of other sounds that don’t actually exist. You might experience it in a mild form, as well as about 15 percent of the population. However, there are some people who get seriously affected by the disease. Therefore, a team of researchers developed a device which delivers electrical pulses to the patients’ brains and quiets down these sounds.
What is tinnitus?
This innovative device makes use of electrical pulses and sounds to detect which nerves act faulty. Once it finds them, all these signals have the power to reset the nerves and return them to their functioning state. The participants had to undergo this treatment for four weeks to beat tinnitus. On the other hand, the control group that received a placebo treatment didn’t return the same positive results.
Researchers explained how tinnitus works, and what region of the brain must be treated to combat its symptoms. Susan Shore, one of the researchers who developed the device, said the nerve cells which should be targeted are situated in the area of the brain called the dorsal cochlear nucleus.
“When the main neurons in this region, called fusiform cells, become hyperactive and synchronize with one another, the phantom signal is transmitted into other centers where perception occurs.”
This experimental device is the safest method against tinnitus
There already exist some method of treatment against tinnitus. The easiest ones involve covering the phantom sounds with real sounds, while the more dangerous ones use deep brain stimulation. However, this new discovery is the most suitable, as it’s not associated with any risks. Also, it’s more effective since it treats directly the cause, rather than trying to cover the effects.
However, the device is not yet ready to become a full-fledged tinnitus treatment method. Now, researchers have to figure out what category of patients can benefit from the experimental device, and how long it has to be administered. The study on this innovative method was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
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