Chronic tinnitus and effects of pulsed magnetic stimulation were examined by the authors of this study (Langguth et al., 2006) as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has already showed that it can modify irritation of cerebral cortex and treat auditory hallucinations and other disorders that way.
Since tinnitus is often associated with deafness as a result of the plasticity of the nervous system and there is no treatment method guaranteeing therapeutic effect, the authors of this study decided to test repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on three patients and examine the effects of magnetic field, which extends to the first few millimetres of the surface of the brain.
The effects of pulsed magnetic therapy with low (1 Hz) frequency as well as higher (5-20 Hz) frequencies were compared on this occasion.
The method of neuroimaging proved increased activity in the central auditory cortex. It turned out that low frequencies of pulsed magnetic therapy (1 Hz or less) cause a reduction in irritation of the cortex, while higher frequencies (5-20 Hz) increase it.
The authors also mentioned that direct low-frequency (1 Hz) magnetic stimulation of the cerebral cortex causes long-term decline of the cortex irritation and that this decline continues even after the therapy.
In other words, magnetic stimulation with both low and higher frequencies can provide distortion of central nervous system function and thus effectively treat chronic tinnitus.
Reference: Langguth, B. et al. (2006) Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and chronic tinnitus. Acta Oto-Laryngologica (Supplement). 126102–105.
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and chronic tinnitus
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Related diagnosis: Tinnitus (noises or buzzing in the ears)
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