Non-Invasive Neuromodulation for Tinnitus

Author: Berthold Langguth
Author Information:
1 Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Interdisciplinary Tinnitus Center, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
Conference/Journal: J Audiol Otol
Date published: 2020 Jun 25
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.7874/jao.2020.00052. , Word Count: 156

Tinnitus is a prevalent disorder that has no cure currently. Within the last two decades, neuroscientific research has facilitated a better understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie the generation and maintenance of tinnitus, and the brain and nerves have been identified as potential targets for its treatment using non-invasive brain stimulation methods. This article reviews studies on tinnitus patients using transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial electrical stimulation, such as transcranial direct current stimulation, alternating current stimulation, transcranial random noise stimulation as well as transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation and bimodal combined auditory and somatosensory stimulation. Although none of these approaches has demonstrated effects that would justify its use in routine treatment, the studies have provided important insights into tinnitus pathophysiology. Moreover bimodal stimulation, which has only been developed recently, has shown promising results in pilot trials and is a candidate for further development into a valuable treatment procedure.

Keywords: Brain stimulation; Neuroplasticity; Neuroscience; Phantom sound; Treatment.

PMID: 32575951