Tinnitus is a symptom caused by ringing in ears; this can be caused by number of different causes, including disease or injuries.
Tinnitus is the perception of ringing sound, which actually doesn’t exist.
Finally researchers from the University of Lowa have found the reason for tinnitus being so difficult to treat.
Researchers have employed a brain monitoring technique which is generally used by surgeons during surgery to treat epilepsy to map the process of tinnitus.
Researchers have measured the brain activity during bouts of tinnitus, comparing the stronger and weaker occurrences of the condition.
They have also measured these results against brain pattern seen when the volunteers were exposed to a sound meant to mimic the symptom.
Will Sedley from Newcastle University in England said, “Perhaps the most remarkable finding was that activity directly linked to tinnitus was very extensive and spanned a large proportion of the part of the brain we measured from. In contrast, the brain responses to a sound we played that mimicked [the subject’s] tinnitus were localized to just a tiny area.”
After the study researchers found that tinnitus not only fills in the sounds missing after hearing damage, but it also spreads into the other areas of brain.
Phillip Gander, Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Iowa said that the findings of the study will help to understand and treat tinnitus, as it now known that the sound is not like a normal sound, and may not be treated by targeting localized parts of the hearings system.
One in five people suffer from some degree of tinnitus, but patient’s undergoing epilepsy treatment with brain sensors and who suffer tinnitus is difficult to find.
The study revealed the reason for tinnitus being so difficult to treat, the reason is because there are so many pathways in the brain that are activated by the condition, not only the path way which hear the sound, hence it is making difficult to treat the condition.
Neurofeedback, in which patients learn to control their brainwaves, is used to control tinnitus.
Patients experiencing tinnitus suffer anxiety, depression, and anger from continued ringing.
The findings of the study are published in journal Current Biology.