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Tinnitus: a new approach

Tonight there is a programme on BBC Radio 4 - Longing For Silence - at 21:00, which looks at the issue of tinnitus.

Kate Cook goes on a deeply emotional journey to explore what hope there is for a cure for the chronic tinnitus she has suffered for a quarter of a century.

It suggests cause plus form of treatment:

Berthold Langguth, a neurologist in Germany, believes the hearing cells in the auditory cortex (the brain area perceiving sound signals) in tinnitus sufferers are overactive and is trying to normalise them.

By running an electric current through sections of wire he creates a magnetic current. When held over the head of a patient the magnetic stimulation reduces the neural activity and diminishes unwanted sound.

And also touches on drugs:

Researchers in Cambridge have discovered that lidocaine, the most commonly used anaesthetic in the world, turns down the sound in two thirds of sufferers for roughly five minutes.

Whilst the drug is dangerous and the effect transitory, the discovery is clear proof for the first time that there is a mechanism to turn tinnitus off.

The golden key is to find a drug that has the suppressive effect of lidocaine without the side effects.

At the time of writing, I don't know if the BBC is planning on providing a transcript of this programme. If anyone wants to pursue this with Radio 4, and has any luck please use the comment box.

Source:
BBCi: New hope for tinnitus sufferers

Comments (2)

Thanks for finding and posting this information! I'm a tinnitus sufferer myself.

Interesting to hear about Lidocaine. From what I've heard, there is still no medication available to treat all the symptoms of Tinnitus. Though the herbal remedy Gingko Biloba is a popular treatment for this disease that when combined with other herbal circulatory and nerve tonic produces a therapeutic herbal supplement formula that would treat the degenerative and other symptoms of tinnitus.

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