Tongue zapping and electronic music may help alleviate tinnitus symptoms

It’s estimated that 10 to 15 percent of people worldwide suffer from tinnitus, a medical condition causing sufferers to constantly hear sounds that aren’t actually there. A new experimental device, though, may finally help them find peace of mind.

Called Lenire, the device was developed by a team of scientists at Neuromod Devices in Ireland. It combines tongue stimulations delivered by a small electrode-packed paddle together with a carefully prepared audio stream fed through headphones, which sounds like ambient electronic music.

As part of the study, 86 percent out of 273 volunteers with a chronic case of the disease reported an improvement in symptoms, with an average drop of 14 points on a tinnitus severity scale ranging from 1 to 100.

Known as bimodal neurostimulation, the approach of mixing the tongue buzzing with the headphones-delivered sounds aims to heighten the sensitivity of the brain, effectively crowding out the overactive parts of the brain which would otherwise cause tinnitus symptom.

“If you make the auditory brain more sensitive to many inputs and acoustic stimuli, then it becomes distracted away and less sensitive or aware of the tinnitus.” neuroscientist Hubert Lim told New Scientist. “This is how we believe the treatment is working.”

In the trial, the participants used the device for 60 minutes a day over the course of 12 weeks, with both the tongue popping and the ear pulsing personalized to each participant’s level of sensitivity. After tracking the post-treatment therapeutic effects for 12 months, the researchers found improved symptoms were still present in many of the study participants

What’s more, the participants themselves controlled the device, meaning that Lenire is potentially something that people could use in their own homes.

“The outcomes are very exciting and I look forward to continuing our work to develop a bimodal neuromodulation treatment to help as many tinnitus sufferers as possible,” said Lim.

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Tongue zapping and electronic music may help alleviate tinnitus symptoms

It’s estimated that 10 to 15 percent of people worldwide suffer from tinnitus, a medical condition causing sufferers to constantly hear sounds that aren’t actually there. A new experimental device, though, may finally help them find peace of mind.

Called Lenire, the device was developed by a team of scientists at Neuromod Devices in Ireland. It combines tongue stimulations delivered by a small electrode-packed paddle together with a carefully prepared audio stream fed through headphones, which sounds like ambient electronic music.

As part of the study, 86 percent out of 273 volunteers with a chronic case of the disease reported an improvement in symptoms, with an average drop of 14 points on a tinnitus severity scale ranging from 1 to 100.

Known as bimodal neurostimulation, the approach of mixing the tongue buzzing with the headphones-delivered sounds aims to heighten the sensitivity of the brain, effectively crowding out the overactive parts of the brain which would otherwise cause tinnitus symptom.

“If you make the auditory brain more sensitive to many inputs and acoustic stimuli, then it becomes distracted away and less sensitive or aware of the tinnitus.” neuroscientist Hubert Lim told New Scientist. “This is how we believe the treatment is working.”

In the trial, the participants used the device for 60 minutes a day over the course of 12 weeks, with both the tongue popping and the ear pulsing personalized to each participant’s level of sensitivity. After tracking the post-treatment therapeutic effects for 12 months, the researchers found improved symptoms were still present in many of the study participants

What’s more, the participants themselves controlled the device, meaning that Lenire is potentially something that people could use in their own homes.

“The outcomes are very exciting and I look forward to continuing our work to develop a bimodal neuromodulation treatment to help as many tinnitus sufferers as possible,” said Lim.

Solution News Source

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