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Longevity Briefs: Novel tongue and ear stimulating device for tinnitus treatment

Posted on 16 October 2020

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Longevity briefs provides a short summary of a novel research, medicine, or technology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: Tinnitus is a condition characterized by hearing sounds that aren’t real, usually high-pitched noise or ringing. It affects from 10% to 15% of the worldwide population and can be quite bothersome or debilitating, significantly decreasing the quality of life. Currently, there are no clear causes for this phenomenon nor clinically recommended treatment.

What did the researchers do: In this study, researches have used non-invasive bimodal neuromodulation approach (stimulating nervous system via magnetic/electric impulses) and developed a device that delivers sound to ears and electrical stimulation to the tongue. The device was tested on 326 adult patients with chronic tinnitus that have enrolled in this randomized double-blind study.

Key takeaway(s) from this research: After 12-week treatment period there was a significant reduction in tinnitus symptoms severity. Moreover, therapeutic improvement continued for 12-months after the treatment, which was never demonstrated before. It was also shown high satisfaction rates among patients with no severe side effects. All those outcomes support further research into bimodal neuromodulation in order to establish it as a clinically recommended device for tinnitus treatment.

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