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'Rebooting' brain could ease ringing in ears
Yahooooooooo ^ | 01-12-11 | Staff

Posted on 01/12/2011 12:18:22 PM PST by Red Badger

Scientists have found a way to ease chronic ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus, by stimulating a neck nerve and playing sounds to reboot the brain, according to research published Wednesday.

There is currently no cure for tinnitus, which can range from annoying to debilitating and affects as many as 23 million adults in the United States, including one in 10 seniors and 40 percent of military veterans.

For Gloria Chepko, 66, who has suffered from tinnitus since she was four years old, the sound she describes as "like crickets... but also bell-like," gets worse when she is tired.

"It's awful," she said. "Sometimes it is very loud, and it will get loud if I am under stress or if I have been going for a very long time and I am fatigued," she said.

"If my mind is tired and I sit down I will only hear this sound."

For some people, such as military veterans who are left with hearing damage after exposure to loud blasts and gunfire, the noise -- which could also sound like roaring, whooshing or clicking -- interferes with their ability to lead a normal life.

The US Veterans Administration spends one billion dollars per year on disability payments related to tinnitus, the most common service-related ailment in soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, industry experts say.

Scientists believe the disorder is caused by hearing loss or nerve damage, to which the brain tries but fails to adjust.

"Brain changes in response to nerve damage or cochlear trauma cause irregular neural activity believed to be responsible for many types of chronic pain and tinnitus," said Michael Kilgard of the University of Texas, co-author of the study in the journal Nature.

"We believe the part of the brain that processes sounds -- the auditory cortex -- delegates too many neurons to some frequencies, and things begin to go awry," he said.

To fix that, researchers used rats to test a theory that they could reset the brain by retraining it so that errant neurons return to their normal state.

In rats with tinnitus, they electrically stimulated the vagus nerve, which runs from the head through the neck to the abdomen, in combination with playing a certain high-pitched tone.

When stimulated, the nerve can encourage changes in the brain by releasing chemicals such as acetylcholine and norepinephrine that act as neurotransmitters.

Rats that underwent the pairing of noise and stimulation experienced a halt to the ringing sounds for up to three and a half months, while control rats that received just noise or just stimulation did not.

An examination of neural responses in the auditory cortexes showed normal levels in the rats who were treated with the combination of stimulation and sound, indicating the tinnitus had disappeared.

The treatment "not only reorganized the neurons to respond to their original frequencies, but it also made the brain responses sharper," the study said.

"The key is that, unlike previous treatments, we're not masking the tinnitus, we're not hiding the tinnitus," said Kilgard.

"We are returning the brain from a state where it generates tinnitus to a state that does not generate tinnitus. We are eliminating the source of the tinnitus." Clinical trials are expected to begin on humans in the coming months, with the first trials starting in Europe, according to lead study author Navzer Engineer. The process of vagus nerve stimulation, known as VNS, is already being used in the treatment of around 50,000 people with epilepsy or depression, the study said. "This minimally invasive method of generating neural plasticity allows us to precisely manipulate brain circuits, which cannot be achieved with drugs," said Engineer. "Pairing sounds with VNS provides that precision by rewiring damaged circuits and reversing the abnormal activity that generates the phantom sound." Like many sufferers, Chepko has learned to cope with the noise. "I have to find some other way to relax to just endure it, take a bath or do stretches or just lie down and stare or read a book, depending on how bad it is," she said. "I have kind of lived around it, or over it."


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ears; health; hearing; michaelkilgard; tinnitus
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I have severe tinnitus, and am partially deaf. I hope this turns out...................
1 posted on 01/12/2011 12:18:28 PM PST by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

My wife will be interested in this.


2 posted on 01/12/2011 12:21:20 PM PST by Sans-Culotte ( Pray for Obama- Psalm 109:8)
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To: Red Badger

Having dealt with serious computer crashes lately I think I’ll pass.


3 posted on 01/12/2011 12:22:30 PM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Red Badger

“I have severe tinnitus, and am partially deaf. I hope this turns out...................”

I got mine from a bad reaction to some perscription meds in 2000. It’s bad and I would love to get rid of it. At first I thought I was going to go crazy but I hung in there.


4 posted on 01/12/2011 12:23:19 PM PST by dljordan ("His father's sword he hath girded on, And his wild harp slung behind him")
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To: Red Badger; metmom

if you get the MSG out of your diet it will stop


5 posted on 01/12/2011 12:24:03 PM PST by 1000 silverlings (everything that deceives, also enchants: Plato)
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To: cripplecreek

Well, the BSOD is not a option in this case..............


6 posted on 01/12/2011 12:24:18 PM PST by Red Badger (Whenever these vermin call you an 'idiot', you can be sure that you are doing something right.)
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To: 1000 silverlings

Ain’t got no MSG..............


7 posted on 01/12/2011 12:25:04 PM PST by Red Badger (Whenever these vermin call you an 'idiot', you can be sure that you are doing something right.)
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To: dljordan

I got mine from Ozzy Osbourne.................


8 posted on 01/12/2011 12:25:52 PM PST by Red Badger (Whenever these vermin call you an 'idiot', you can be sure that you are doing something right.)
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To: Red Badger

lol, it’s in everything you eat if you are eating canned or packaged food. I’ve been free of it for 2 years now, all the ringing, dizziness has gone away


9 posted on 01/12/2011 12:26:50 PM PST by 1000 silverlings (everything that deceives, also enchants: Plato)
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To: Red Badger

Mine is from an Atlantic City Motorhead show in Sept of ‘09. I have no regrets.


10 posted on 01/12/2011 12:27:43 PM PST by mrmeyer ("When brute force is on the march, compromise is the red carpet." Ayn Rand)
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To: 1000 silverlings

“if you get the MSG out of your diet it will stop”

Just an urban tale, but not factual. Tinnitus is caused by damage, not MSG, gluten, Saccharin, or whatever else is the urban talk of the day.


11 posted on 01/12/2011 12:27:54 PM PST by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: Sans-Culotte

Me too, I hate this crap.


12 posted on 01/12/2011 12:28:00 PM PST by Marty62 (Marty 60)
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To: Red Badger

Not without downloading the operating system to an external hard drive first.


13 posted on 01/12/2011 12:28:27 PM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: CodeToad

sure, that’s why I dont have it anymore


14 posted on 01/12/2011 12:28:27 PM PST by 1000 silverlings (everything that deceives, also enchants: Plato)
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To: 1000 silverlings

I look at the ingredients labels on just about everything.
If it’s listed, and it has to be, I don’t buy it...............


15 posted on 01/12/2011 12:28:47 PM PST by Red Badger (Whenever these vermin call you an 'idiot', you can be sure that you are doing something right.)
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To: Red Badger
I read an article in the Durham Morning Hearld two weeks ago about tinnitus. I have it as well. Duke University is currently treating patients with musical frequencies that retrain the brain to not hear these frequencies. It costs around $4,000. Check it out.
16 posted on 01/12/2011 12:29:09 PM PST by SWEETSUNNYSOUTH (Liberalism is a mental disease.)
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To: Red Badger
I got mine from Ozzy Osbourne.................

Allison T-56 turbine engines and electrical generators for me.

17 posted on 01/12/2011 12:29:37 PM PST by grobdriver (Proud Member, Party Of No! No Socialism - No Fascism - Nobama - No Way!)
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To: mrmeyer

Ozzy was still with Black Sabbath when mine started...........yeah, I’m old...........


18 posted on 01/12/2011 12:29:58 PM PST by Red Badger (Whenever these vermin call you an 'idiot', you can be sure that you are doing something right.)
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To: Red Badger
Scientists have found a way to ease chronic ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus, by stimulating a neck nerve and playing sounds to reboot the brain, according to research published Wednesday.

So, ya gotta bop the CPU to get the speakers to quit humming? Not sure I like that idea.

Well, George, we got rid of the ringing in the ears, but you're gonna be wetting your drawers for the rest of your natural born life.

19 posted on 01/12/2011 12:30:54 PM PST by IYAS9YAS (Liberalism can be summed up thusly: someone craps their pants and we all have to wear diapers)
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To: Red Badger

My husband was very allergic to MSG, I had to read the labels on everything.


20 posted on 01/12/2011 12:30:56 PM PST by Arizona Carolyn
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To: Red Badger

Man, that must have been some show.


21 posted on 01/12/2011 12:31:43 PM PST by mrmeyer ("When brute force is on the march, compromise is the red carpet." Ayn Rand)
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To: Red Badger

Re-booting the brain could lead to lots of good things. I hope this works.


22 posted on 01/12/2011 12:32:29 PM PST by stuartcr (When politicians politicize issues, aren't they just doing their job?)
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To: 1000 silverlings

Didn’t work for me. I have tried everything. Herbal remedies, masking, nothing works. How long do these trials usually take? I’ll volunteer tonight.


23 posted on 01/12/2011 12:32:51 PM PST by Gadsden1st
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To: Eaker

FYI


24 posted on 01/12/2011 12:33:58 PM PST by TheMom (I wish mosquitoes sucked fat instead of blood.)
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To: mrmeyer

Black Sabbath was good, back in the day.
Ozzy was skinny...............


25 posted on 01/12/2011 12:34:03 PM PST by Red Badger (Whenever these vermin call you an 'idiot', you can be sure that you are doing something right.)
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To: Red Badger

What they are doing doesn’t seem to be risky at all. Hopefully this can be made available quickly if the trials are successful.


26 posted on 01/12/2011 12:35:12 PM PST by listenhillary (20 years in Reverend Wright's church is all I need to determine the "content of his character")
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To: grobdriver

Fireworks, Ruger Blackhawk, and 4 years on the Lexington for me.


27 posted on 01/12/2011 12:37:44 PM PST by Elderberry
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To: Red Badger
My niece was one of the first with a vagal nerve stimulator to treat her epilepsy. The device is rather like a pacemaker implant. The difference was miraculous. Prior to the VNS implant, she would experience dozens of seizures a day, many of them grand mal. Now, if the device senses a seizure is imminent, it sends a small shock to the vagus nerve and literally reboots her brain, stopping the seizure before it starts. You know it is working when you see her eyelids flutter, but you have to look closely.

I hope it works as well for those suffering from tinnitus.

28 posted on 01/12/2011 12:41:14 PM PST by Ol' Sox
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To: Gadsden1st
I find sleeping with good earplugs (33 db+) helps.

Threshold shift, getting the input down by 33 db for a third of the day resets the auditory program & gives your little clangers a good rest.

I also spend a good part of most days with the best Sony noise canceling earbuds.

If nothing else, it's very peaceful.

29 posted on 01/12/2011 12:42:42 PM PST by de.rm (Bang, bang, . . bang. Shhh=Bush, the elder, E. Howard Hunt, LBJ, Mrs, Edgar Hoover)
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To: IYAS9YAS

LOL... made me think of that idiot, Quaid in ‘Christmas Vacation.’ ;0)


30 posted on 01/12/2011 12:42:48 PM PST by loboinok (Gun control is hitting what you aim at!)
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To: IYAS9YAS

LOL... made me think of that idiot, Quaid in ‘Christmas Vacation.’ ;0)


31 posted on 01/12/2011 12:42:48 PM PST by loboinok (Gun control is hitting what you aim at!)
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To: Red Badger

There are all kinds of reasons for tinnitus, and that is why so many people have a pet “cure”.

I had mind for a while when I was in my teens, along with vertigo. I was diagnosed with Meniere’s, and soon found that by taking chromium it disappeared. It recurred recently when I had a low RBC count. Once I got a transfusion it disappeared again.

Some people swear by MSG, by salt, etc. I know someone who was in tank warfare and got a good case he never was able to get rid of.


32 posted on 01/12/2011 12:43:06 PM PST by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: cripplecreek
Not without downloading the operating system to an external hard drive first.

With my brain I'd probably get by with an old floppy disk /grin

33 posted on 01/12/2011 12:43:51 PM PST by ChildOfThe60s ( If you can remember the 60s....you weren't really there)
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To: loboinok

Sorry for double post. Don’t know why it posted twice.


34 posted on 01/12/2011 12:44:46 PM PST by loboinok (Gun control is hitting what you aim at!)
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To: Red Badger

they get around it-— for instance they disguise msg with other names, and when it says “no msg added” that means it’s chock full already. organic turkey bacon will say that, but it’s loaded. restaurants and fast food places heap it on, it makes old rotten tasteless food taste good


35 posted on 01/12/2011 12:45:25 PM PST by 1000 silverlings (everything that deceives, also enchants: Plato)
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To: Red Badger

How do they know whether or not the rat is experiencing ringing in its ear?


36 posted on 01/12/2011 12:47:40 PM PST by Mannaggia l'America
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To: Red Badger

it also makes you fat and I would venture to say it is one cause for obesity since it’s in everything. Also China is supplying it to us by the tons, so just imagine what’s in it


37 posted on 01/12/2011 12:48:29 PM PST by 1000 silverlings (everything that deceives, also enchants: Plato)
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To: 1000 silverlings

By that same quality of scientific measure, Muslim Presidents, cold winters or severe recessions also cure tinnitus.


38 posted on 01/12/2011 12:48:40 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: Mr. Lucky

so do some research, neurotoxins for instance, by the way, China only wants what’s good for you


39 posted on 01/12/2011 12:50:15 PM PST by 1000 silverlings (everything that deceives, also enchants: Plato)
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To: 1000 silverlings

That was a real scientific process you followed there to make reach such a specific conclusion.


40 posted on 01/12/2011 12:52:28 PM PST by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: Red Badger

Like you I have had it for years, every once in a while I get a suprise and it goes away for short periods of time and silence is golden...but I want to know how they know these animals have tinnitis? I don’t think animals talk...just wondering..:O)


41 posted on 01/12/2011 12:53:55 PM PST by goat granny
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To: 1000 silverlings

BS. I quit MSG long ago before I even got this problem and I got this problem.


42 posted on 01/12/2011 12:55:30 PM PST by fish hawk (reporter to old Indian: you lived here on the reservation all your life? Old Indian, "not yet".)
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To: cripplecreek

I don’t think I should be rebooted. For one thing, I don’t know where my brain’s recovery disks are. I don’t think they were included when I was shipped from the factory. In fact, I arrived without even so much as a user manual.


43 posted on 01/12/2011 12:56:07 PM PST by 6SJ7 (atlasShruggedInd = TRUE)
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To: grobdriver
Ah, C-130? J-57’s; F-100D/F's for me.
44 posted on 01/12/2011 12:56:29 PM PST by Wilum (Never loaded a nuke I didn't like)
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To: 6SJ7

Yeah, factory installs never come with all the stuff you need.


45 posted on 01/12/2011 12:58:09 PM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: 1000 silverlings
OK, let's review your argument.

You know my tinnitus is caused by MSG even though my doctor attributes it to the incessant noise and vibration of farm equipment. Your prognosis isn't supported by serious science, but it doesn't have to be because China is a bad place.

Swell.

46 posted on 01/12/2011 1:02:05 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: grobdriver
Allison T-56 turbine engines and electrical generators for me.

Titan II complexes and Minuteman III Launch Control Centers and Launch Facilities for mine.

47 posted on 01/12/2011 1:03:33 PM PST by OldMissileer (Atlas, Titan, Minuteman, PK. Winners of the Cold War)
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To: Red Badger

I have it every now and then but do have severe hearing loss from a very bad case of vertigo in my 20s. Also had BPPV which was cleared up with Eppley.

Just wish I could hear again... can’t even use a phone on that side... everyone sounds like they’re on helium.


48 posted on 01/12/2011 1:03:53 PM PST by rintense (The GOP elite & friends can pound sand.)
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To: Red Badger
Well, the BSOD is not a option in this case..............

I experience at least one of those every day! I was thinking it is about time to wipe my brain and reinstall, but if a reboot will fix it, I'm in!

49 posted on 01/12/2011 1:06:35 PM PST by 6ppc (It's torch and pitchfork time)
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To: Red Badger

How many times can a brain be rebooted before it crashes???


50 posted on 01/12/2011 1:08:22 PM PST by jda
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