Central Aspects of Tinnitus: Advances in Mechanisms and Neuromodulation

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425). This special issue belongs to the section "Neuropharmacology and Neuropathology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 March 2024 | Viewed by 1791

Special Issue Editors

Department of Ear Nose and Throat, Head and Neck Surgery, Zuyderland, 6419 PC Heerlen, The Netherlands
Interests: tinnitus; hearing disorders; neuromodulation
1. Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Maastricht University Medical Center, 6229 HX Maastricht, The Netherlands
2. School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, 6229 ER Maastricht, The Netherlands
Interests: deep brain stimulation; neuromodulation; neurophysiology; tinnitus; movement disorders
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The auditory pathway is a complex system that processes neural signals from the cochlea to the auditory cortex, where the actual perception of sound occurs. Within this pathway, a number of sophisticated processes take place, such as sound localization and the filtering of sounds. Pathology within this system can result in hearing loss (e.g., tumor or stroke) but also hyperacusis and tinnitus. While hearing loss is usually of a peripheral origin and tinnitus and hyperacusis are triggered by peripheral pathology, the brain plays a crucial role in these pathologies.

Although the prevalence and burden of persons with tinnitus is high, to date, none of the available tinnitus treatments have been proven to be effective for most tinnitus patients. Neuromodulation is currently gaining more interest as an avenue to explore for tinnitus treatment. Noninvasive neuromodulation has been shown to be effective in some tinnitus patients in the short term. Additionally, invasive techniques such as deep brain stimulation and auditory brain stem implants are currently being studied. A better understanding of the central auditory pathway supports further development of the objective measurement of hearing (e.g., auditory brainstem response) and may support further development of both non-invasive and invasive neuromodulation therapies such as auditory brainstem implants for hearing loss, deep brain stimulation, and transcranial magnetic stimulation for tinnitus.

This Special Issue of Brain Sciences aims to provide more insight into the central mechanism and therapeutics of hearing(-related) disorders. Authors are invited to submit research and reviews that address a broad range of topics, such as central aspect of hearing disorders, pathophysiology of tinnitus, hearing loss and hyperacusis, diagnostics related to the auditory pathways, invasive and non-invasive neuromodulation for (central) hearing loss, tinnitus, and hyperacusis.

Dr. Jasper V. Smit
Dr. Marcus L. F. Janssen
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • tinnitus
  • hyperacusis
  • hearing disorders
  • auditory pathway
  • neuromodulation

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 412 KiB  
Article
Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Resting-State Brain Activity in Individuals with Tinnitus
Brain Sci. 2024, 14(2), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci14020174 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 433
Abstract
This study looked at the possible effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals who came to our clinic seeking relief from tinnitus. The performance of the subjects during the COVID-19 pandemic was compared with similar individuals who came to our clinic before the [...] Read more.
This study looked at the possible effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals who came to our clinic seeking relief from tinnitus. The performance of the subjects during the COVID-19 pandemic was compared with similar individuals who came to our clinic before the pandemic began. The study involved 50 adults with chronic tinnitus, made up of a study group (24 subjects tested during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020–2021) and a control group before the pandemic began (26 subjects tested from 2013 to 2017). None of the 24 reported having contracted COVID-19. Data collection involved the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) questionnaire, audiological tests, and quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG). In terms of THI scores, there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups. However, with regard to qEEG, some changes were observed, with significant decreases in alpha and beta band activity in the study group compared to the control group, particularly over the auditory cortex. We conclude that COVID-19 did not have a discernible impact on the general well-being of individuals with tinnitus. However, it did appear to alter brain activity, specifically in the alpha and beta bands over the auditory cortex, and these reults warrant further investigation. Full article
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14 pages, 1141 KiB  
Article
Changes in Tinnitus Characteristics and Residual Inhibition following Cochlear Implantation: A Prospective Analysis
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(10), 1484; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13101484 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 785
Abstract
This study aims to explore the effect of cochlear implantation on tinnitus perception. A prospective study was conducted on 72 adult hearing-impaired patients to evaluate tinnitus perception before and after cochlear implantation, using standardized tinnitus questionnaires (the tinnitus sample case-history questionnaire, tinnitus functional [...] Read more.
This study aims to explore the effect of cochlear implantation on tinnitus perception. A prospective study was conducted on 72 adult hearing-impaired patients to evaluate tinnitus perception before and after cochlear implantation, using standardized tinnitus questionnaires (the tinnitus sample case-history questionnaire, tinnitus functional index (TFI), and tinnitus handicap inventory (THI)). A large variety of demographic and hearing- and implant-related data was collected from patient hospital records to explore possible associations with the implantation effect. The prevalence of tinnitus complaints before implantation was 58.3%. The temporary induction or aggravation of tinnitus immediately after surgery was noted in 20% and 46.7% of patients, respectively. When evaluated 3 months after implantation, 60% of tinnitus patients experienced a clinically significant reduction in their complaints; most of the improvements were experienced immediately after activation of the implant. Only the scores for TFI and THI at baseline were found to be significantly correlated with a reduction in TFI scores after implantation. In 80% of tinnitus patients, the tinnitus remained suppressed for some time after taking off the device. The large subset of patients with residual inhibition supports the involvement of central pathophysiological processes in implantation effects on tinnitus, which are explored in this paper. Full article
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