Home Family Practice Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treats Tinnitus

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treats Tinnitus

Significantly more responders to treatment with 10 days of active versus placebo rTMS

FRIDAY, July 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can improve tinnitus severity, according to a study published online July 16 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Robert L. Folmer, Ph.D., from the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Oregon, and colleagues conducted a randomized, participant and clinician or observer-blinded trial to determine whether rTMS can reduce the perception or severity of tinnitus. Seventy individuals who experienced chronic tinnitus were randomized to receive active or placebo rTMS; 64 individuals were included in data analyses. On 10 consecutive workdays, participants received 2,000 pulses per session of active or placebo rTMS at a rate of 1-Hz rTMS daily. The main study outcome was the Tinnitus Functional Index, which was compared at baseline and post-treatment.

The researchers found that 56 percent of the active rTMS group and 22 percent of the placebo group were responders to rTMS treatment. There was a statistically significant difference in the percentage of responders to treatment in each group (P < 0.005).

“Improvements in tinnitus severity experienced by responders were sustained during the 26-week follow-up period,” the authors write. “Before this procedure can be implemented clinically, larger studies should be conducted to refine treatment protocols.”

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