Non-pulsatile tinnitus is caused by neurons in the auditory (hearing) cortex of the brain that become hyperactive and synchronized. Synchronized neurons are two or several neurons working together. The hyperactive, synchronized neurons in the auditory cortex also affect the limbic structures of the brain, which can result in an emotional response to the tinnitus. Using this information regarding tinnitus, a new tinnitus treatment, known as the Desyncra™ for Tinnitus, has been developed. Desyncra™ for Tinnitus involves an acoustic signal known as acoustic coordinated reset (CR®) Neuromodulation. This acoustic signal is used to disrupt or “desynchronize” the abnormal neuronal behavior identified as the cause of tinnitus. The goal of therapy is a long-term reduction of tinnitus intensity, as well as the emotional perception of tinnitus.
Desyncra™ iPod with headphones
The part of the brain that hears sounds is known as the auditory cortex. The auditory cortex is physically organized according to the pitch of sounds that it perceives, from low to high pitch (known as tonotopic organization). The Desyncra™ proprietary pitch-matching procedure makes use of the tonotopic organization of the auditory cortex to target tinnitus therapy to the hyperactive region in the auditory cortex.
The Desyncra™ acoustic stimulus is delivered using an iPod touch with earbuds. The sound generated is a sequence of four tones, two above and two below, the pitch of perceived tinnitus. The pitch of perceived tinnitus is assessed by the audiology staff of the Ear Institute of Chicago. The pitch of perceived tinnitus is matched to a pure tone as identified by the individual with tinnitus. The Desyncra™ acoustic stimulus is used while awake for four to six hours per day for three months, then as needed. The four to six-hour session can be one continuous period, or spit into several sessions not shorter than one hour in duration. The stimulus is audible, but quiet enough to allow one to continue with everyday activities while listening to the stimulus.
In one study of 34 patients using the Desyncra™ acoustic stimulus for 12 weeks, there was a statistically significant strong reduction of tinnitus loudness and annoyance compared to a separate placebo group (Tass, et al., 2012). The placebo group also listened to four tones for 12 weeks, but the tones were at a much lower pitch than the tones used for the Desyncra™ acoustic stimulus. In the same study, the improvements in tinnitus loudness and annoyance were of the same degree regardless of the duration of tinnitus (less than or greater than four years duration).
A significant reduction of tinnitus loudness and annoyance was also found in another larger study of 189 patients using the Desyncra™ acoustic stimulus for 12 months. Tinnitus reduction was achieved by 12 weeks in many patients, with further reductions in tinnitus intensity identified at 12 months of treatment (Hauptman, et al., 2015).
For further information regarding Desyncra™ for Tinnitus, please visit the Desyncra website.
Tass PA, et al. Counteracting tinnitus by acoustic coordinated reset neuromodulation.
Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2012;30(2):137-59.
Hauptmann C, et al. Acoustic Coordinated Reset Neuromodulation in a Real Life Patient Population with Chronic Tonal Tinnitus. Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015: 1-8.