Noul dispozitiv de terapie inovator tratează sunetul șuierat al tăcerii.
Tinitusul, care este sunetul, bâzâitul sau șuieratul tăcerii, variază în severitate de la a fi o ușoară supărare pentru unii la o dezactivare gravă pentru alții. În Statele Unite, până la 15% dintre adulți suferă de tinitus, aproximativ 40% dintre acești indivizi suferă de această afecțiune pe o bază cronică și caută în mod activ un tratament pentru ameliorare.
Un nou studiu promițător al oamenilor de știință de la Institutul Kresge pentru Cercetarea Auzului de la Universitatea din Michigan sugerează că o astfel de ușurare este realizabilă.
Susan Shore, PhD, profesor emerit în Departamentul de Otolaringologie din Michigan și Departamentele de Fiziologie și Inginerie Biomedicală a Universității din Michigan, a condus cercetări despre modul în care creierul procesează informațiile senzoriale și despre modul în care aceste procese pot fi valorificate pentru stimularea personalizată pentru tratarea tinitusului.
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According to Shore, candidates with bothersome, somatic tinnitus, as well as normal-to-moderate hearing loss, were eligible to participate.
“After enrollment, participants received a portable device developed and manufactured by in2being, LLC, for in-home use,” she said. “The devices were programmed to present each participant’s personal tinnitus spectrum, which was combined with electrical stimulation to form a bi-sensory stimulus, while maintaining participant and study team blinding.”
Study participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first group received bi-sensory, or active, treatment first, while the second received sound-alone, or control, treatment.
For the first six weeks, participants were instructed to use their devices for 30 minutes each day. The next six weeks gave participants a break from daily use, followed by six more weeks of the treatment not received in the beginning of the study.
Shore notes that every week, participants completed the Tinnitus Functional Index, or TFI, and Tinnitus Handicap Inventory, or THI, which are questionnaires that measure the impact tinnitus has on individuals’ lives. Participants also had their tinnitus loudness assessed during this time.
The team found that when participants received the bi-sensory treatment, they consistently reported improved quality of life, lower handicap scores, and significant reductions in tinnitus loudness. However, these effects were not seen when receiving sound-only stimulation.
Further, more than 60% of participants reported significantly reduced tinnitus symptoms after the six weeks of active treatment, but not control treatment. This is consistent with an earlier study by Shore’s team, which showed that the longer participants received active treatment, the greater the reduction in their tinnitus symptoms.
“This study paves the way for the use of personalized, bi-sensory stimulation as an effective treatment for tinnitus, providing hope for millions of tinnitus sufferers,” said Shore.
Reference: “Reversing Synchronized Brain Circuits Using Targeted Auditory-Somatosensory Stimulation to Treat Phantom Percepts – A Randomized Clinical Trial” by Gerilyn R. Jones, David T. Martel, Travis L. Riffle, Josh Errickson, Jacqueline R. Souter, Gregory J. Basura, Emily Stucken, Kara C. Schvartz-Leyzac and Susan E. Shore, 2 June 2023, JAMA Network Open.
The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Auricle Inc., the exclusive licensee of the patents related to the bi-sensory stimulation, was launched with the help of Innovation Partnerships, the central hub of research commercialization activity at the University of Michigan. Auricle will work towards gaining regulatory clearance and then commercializing Shore’s novel bi-sensory tinnitus treatment.
To stay up to date on the team’s progress, sign up for updates by sending an email to [email protected].
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