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    Impact of Acoustic and Tactile Multi-Modal Stimulation on Objective and Subjective Measures of Permanent Intractable Tinnitus: A Prospective Research Study

    Hamilton, Caroline (2014) Impact of Acoustic and Tactile Multi-Modal Stimulation on Objective and Subjective Measures of Permanent Intractable Tinnitus: A Prospective Research Study. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Tinnitus is a complex condition comprising of three components, audiological, neurological and psychological which together produce the problems most commonly experienced by tinnitus suffers. It is believed that brainstem structures, such as cochlear nuclei, play a major role in tinnitus generation and that perception occurs at the cortical level. Studies suggest that hearing-loss causes a cascade of neuropathic effects in the central hearing system that is driven by maladaptive neuroplasticity. This model is supported by Eggermont et al. (2006); Kaltenbach et al. (2005); Weisz et al. (2007) which report that tinnitus patients with an underlying hearing-loss exhibited increased spontaneous firing rates, increased synchronicity and a reorganization of tonotopic maps in the auditory brainstem and auditory cortex. Similarly, Parra & Pearlmutter (2007) reports that individuals with tinnitus were more susceptible to the Zwicker tone auditory illusion, suggesting that tinnitus may be related to a central phenomenon of frequency dependent adaptive gains in their hearing-response. Tinnitus may also partially involve the cranial somatosensory central nervous systems. Shore et al. (2005); Herraiz et al. (2007) demonstrated a functional interaction between auditory brainstem structures and input from the branches of the trigeminal nerve and that stimulation of these nerves can qualitatively and quantitatively influence tinnitus perception. Studies have shown that using Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) to stimulate the C2 dermatome can have a significant beneficial effect on the perception of tinnitus (Vanneste et al., 2010; Shore; 2005). We present the findings of a research study into the impact of acoustic and tactile multi-modal stimulation on objective and subjective measures of permanent intractable tinnitus. This 16-week study was conducted with 54 patients suffering from permanent intractable tinnitus. Patients demonstrated statistically significant mean improvements in Minimum Masking level (-8.6dB); Tinnitus Loudness Matching (-7.2dB); and Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (-9.4pts). We discuss the implications of these findings for the clinical treatment of tinnitus and finally we make recommendations for the continued clinical investigation of this area of research.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Impact; Acoustic; Tactile; Multi-Modal Stimulation; Objective; Subjective; Measures; Permanent Intractable Tinnitus; Prospective Research Study;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > Hamilton Institute
    Item ID: 7727
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2017 16:57

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