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Tinnitus And Acupuncture Study Stop The Constant Ringing Hissing


Restart The Brain Ease Tinnitus

Energizing a nerve in the neck while playing certain sounds at the same time over a length of time eases tinnitus according to researchers who state these methods together appear to work well.

Nearly 23 million adults in the United States, which include one in ten seniors and 40% of military veterans are affected by tinnitus. The characteristic of the condition, which at this time there is no cure for, is usually a constant ringing in the ears that ranges in severity from annoying to incapacitating.

Much like pressing a reset button in the brain, this new therapy was discovered to aide in retraining the part of the brain in rats that interprets sounds, so that the erratic neurons changed back to their original state and the ringing vanishes.

Dr. James Battey, director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders(NICD), who also funded part of this research, states current treatments usually involve concealing the sound or learning how to ignore it. If a way can be found to turn off the noise, life will be greatly improved for the nearly 23 American adults who are enduring this condition.

At times tinnitus is a symptom people suffer from hearing loss. When the sensory cells in the inner ear become damaged like from a loud noise, the derived hearing loss alters some of the signals sent from the ear to the brain. Some people will develop tinnitus, as to why this happens is yet to be fully comprehended.

Dr. Michael Kilgard, associate professor of behavior and brain sciences at UT-Dallas and co-principal investor of this study, states it is believed the part of the brain which processes sounds called the auditory cortex, assigns too many neurons to some frequencies which causes things to go haywire.

Due to the fact there are too many neurons processing the exact frequencies, they are discharging more than then they should be.

The neurons also discharge in sync with one another, and discharge more frequently when it is silent.

Dr. Kilgard also notes it is these altering brain patterns that generate tinnitus, which usually is a high-pitched tone in one or both ears, although it may be recognized as a clicking, roaring or swishing sound.

Researchers first looked to activate changes in the auditory cortex of rats by pairing stimulation of the vagus nerve. When stimulated the vagus nerve releases acetylcholine and other chemicals that aide alternations in the brain. The researchers wanted to see if they could activate more brain cells to become more responsive to the tone over a length of time.

For 20 days at 300 times a day, researchers played a high-pitched tone at 9 kHz to eight rats.

Researchers discovered that a number of neurons tuned into the frequency and had increased by 79% in comparison to control rats.

Researchers also tested to see if tinnitus could be reversed in noise-exposed rats by adding to the number of neurons tuned to frequencies other than tinnitus frequency.

One group of noise-exposed rats with tinnitus had received VNS that was matched with different frequencies surrounding the tinnitus frequency at 300 times a day for around three weeks. Control group rats received VNS with no tones, tones with no VNS or no therapy.

Researchers had discovered that rats who received VNS paired with tones displayed promising outcomes for each time point after therapy which indicates the ringing had stopped for the rats.

Researchers have concluded that VNS treatment in combination with tones not only reorganizes the neurons to react to their normal frequencies but also heightened brain responses, decreased excitability and decreased synchronization of auditory cortex neurons.

The essential is that unlike past treatments, the tinnitus is not being masked and not being hidden. They are returning the brain from a state where it produces tinnitus to where it does not produce it. The source of tinnitus is being eliminated according to Dr. Kilgard.

VNS is used to treat people with epilepsy or depression. It is hoped that clinical studies using VNS with paired tones in tinnitus patients.

Researchers are currently at work attempting to refine this procedure and to better comprehend details like the most effective number of frequencies to use in treatments, length of treatment time.

Around 12 million people a year with this condition seek medical help. Some seek out alternative methods which could help. Here are a few noted alternative therapies.

Chiropractic

Adjusting the cervical spine especially upper cervical and cranium. These methods have the possibility to restore sympathetic/parasympathetic balance and influence cortical function. Research has suggested that there is a parallel between chronic pain and tinnitus. Full spinal adjustment, extremity adjustment and soft tissue techniques also have a part.

Manipulations which loosen the neck that improve blood supply to the ears could be beneficial for tinnitus.

Acupuncture/Acupressure

Both the Chinese methods could decrease the sounds you hear in tinnitus. It is believe that the outcome from a disturbance is in the flow of energy. Some points used GB2 and TW 20.

Reflexology

Reflexology provides some relief from tinnitus. Work done on the cervical spine, neck and reflex points in the hands and feet. It is best to consult a massage therapist who is familiar with reflexology.

Hypnosis

A trained hypnotherapist may be able to teach you how to adjust the volume of tinnitus by using a imagery dial or other device. This works for people who can go into a moderate or deep trance. Sources:

Current News India

Dynamic Chiropractic

Holistic Online

By Debbie Nicholson - Deb is currently writing articles for magazines. Also featured as Detroit Alternative Medicine Examiner, Women's Health Examiner and Anchor for All Voices. . Also publisher of the new magazine "Che...  


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