The effect of rTMS on auditory processing in adults with chronic, bilateral tinnitus: A placebo-controlled pilot study

Barwood, Caroline H. S., Wilson, Wayne J., Malicka, Alicja N., McPherson, Bradley, Lloyd, David, Munt, Katherine and Murdoch, Bruce E. (2013) The effect of rTMS on auditory processing in adults with chronic, bilateral tinnitus: A placebo-controlled pilot study. Brain Stimulation, 6 5: 752-759. doi:10.1016/j.brs.2013.01.015


Author Barwood, Caroline H. S.
Wilson, Wayne J.
Malicka, Alicja N.
McPherson, Bradley
Lloyd, David
Munt, Katherine
Murdoch, Bruce E.
Title The effect of rTMS on auditory processing in adults with chronic, bilateral tinnitus: A placebo-controlled pilot study
Journal name Brain Stimulation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1935-861X
1876-4754
Publication date 2013-09-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.brs.2013.01.015
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 6
Issue 5
Start page 752
End page 759
Total pages 8
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA United States
Publisher Elsevier Inc
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: On the basis that tinnitus may result from neural hyperactivity in the auditory cortex, researchers have investigated the use of low frequency (1 Hz) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) as a potential modulator of this hyperactivity. While these investigations show promise, investigations to date have neglected to consider the possible effect of 1 Hz rTMS on other functions of the auditory cortex of these individuals, such as auditory processing. Objective/hypothesis: This placebo-controlled pilot study aimed to determine whether 1 Hz rTMS applied to the primary auditory cortex (PAC), specifically Brodmann Area 41 (BA41), of adults with chronic, bilateral tinnitus would influence their auditory processing abilities.

Methods: Eight participants with bilateral, chronic tinnitus were randomized to receive a 10-day course of neuronavigationally guided active rTMS (n = 4) or placebo rTMS (n = 4) treatment applied to a focal region of the left PAC (BA41). Participants' auditory processing was measured using Time Compressed Reverberant Speech and three-pair Dichotic Digits (DD). Their tinnitus was measured using the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) and a psychoacoustic measure of tinnitus perception. All outcome measures were administered at baseline (1 week prior to rTMS), 1 week, 1, 2 and 3 months post-rTMS.

Results:
All four participants in the active rTMS (A) group, and none of the participants in the sham (placebo) rTMS (S) group, showed improved auditory processing scores at multiple assessment points post-stimulation, with the group differences in median normalized gain scores reaching significance at the 5% level from 1 week or 1 month post-stimulation onwards. Three of the four participants in the active rTMS (A) group, and none of the participants in the sham rTMS (S) group, showed improved tinnitus scores at multiple assessment points post-stimulation, with some of the group differences in median normalized gain scores reaching significance at the 5% level.

Conclusions:
The results of this preliminary study suggest that 1 Hz rTMS applied to the PAC (BA41) has the capacity to improve both auditory processing and tinnitus perception in some adults with chronic, bilateral tinnitus
Keyword Transcranial magnetic stimulation
Tinnitus
Hearing
Auditory cortex
Auditory processing
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
 
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