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Audiol Neurootol. 2013;18(6):362-73. doi: 10.1159/000354977. Epub 2013 Oct 19.

Bilateral low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of the auditory cortex in tinnitus patients is not effective: a randomised controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although some therapies may be beneficial for some patients in reducing tinnitus, there is no curative therapy. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been applied as a treatment for chronic tinnitus, but the effect remains controversial.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

Fifty patients were treated with rTMS or placebo. Treatment consisted of 2,000 TMS pulses on each auditory cortex, at a rate of 1 Hz and an intensity of 110% of the individual motor threshold, on 5 consecutive days. rTMS and placebo effects were evaluated directly after treatment, after 1 week, and after 1, 3 and 6 months. Primary outcome was the Tinnitus Questionnaire (TQ). Secondary outcomes were the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) and a visual analogue scale.

RESULTS:

At none of the follow-up evaluation moments a significant difference between rTMS and placebo was observed with respect to changes in TQ or THI scores relative to pretreatment scores. Multilevel modelling (MLM) analyses did not show a global treatment effect either. Patients with a higher degree of burden showed slightly greater improvement after rTMS (only significant on the THI with MLM analyses).

CONCLUSION:

Bilateral low-frequency rTMS of the auditory cortex was not effective in treating tinnitus.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00668720.

PMID:
24157459
DOI:
10.1159/000354977
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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