Neuromodulation for Tinnitus

Brian Harris Kopell, David Friedland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter focuses on the use of neuromodulation for treating Tinnitus. Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the absence of environmental stimuli. Subjective tinnitus is the most common form of tinnitus and is the result of sound generated within the auditory pathways and brain. Subjective tinnitus includes sounds often described as tones, beeps, ringing, buzzing, or crickets and is almost always associated with sensorineural hearing loss. This loss is the result of damage to hair cells in the cochlea from a variety of genetic and environmental factors. Various techniques of neuromodulation have been employed to treat refractory tinnitus. The implantation of cochlear auditory prostheses has demonstrated a significant reduction in tinnitus in patients. Neuromodulatory strategies such as rTMS and chronic electrical stimulation have been shown to alter these processes with beneficial results. Direct current stimulation along the superior temporal gyrus can also acutely alter sound and tinnitus perception. Peripheral neuromodulatory approaches assume that the generator of tinnitus is in subcortical regions and can be modified with a bottom-up approach. Modulation of cortical structures should be successful in treating tinnitus as it addresses the perceiver of tinnitus regardless of the site of generation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeuromodulation
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780123742483
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


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