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Neural Plast. 2019 Mar 26;2019:3540898. doi: 10.1155/2019/3540898. eCollection 2019.

Investigating the Efficacy of an Individualized Alpha/Delta Neurofeedback Protocol in the Treatment of Chronic Tinnitus.

Author information

1
Division of Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
2
University Research Priority Program "Dynamics of Healthy Aging", University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
3
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
4
Center for Neuromodulation, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
5
Tinnitus-Zentrum, Charité-Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

First attempts have demonstrated that the application of alpha/delta neurofeedback in the treatment of chronic tinnitus leads to a reduction of symptoms at the group level. However, recent research also suggests that chronic tinnitus is a decidedly heterogeneous phenomenon, one that requires treatment of distinct subgroups or even on an individual level. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate an individually adjusted alpha/delta neurofeedback protocol. Following previous studies, the delta band fixed between 3 and 4 Hz was chosen as the frequency for inhibition. However, unlike the previous studies, the frequency range for the rewarded alpha band was not fixed between 8 and 12 Hz but rather individually determined according to each patient's specific alpha peak frequency (IAF). Twenty-six chronic tinnitus patients participated in 15 weekly neurofeedback training sessions and extensive pre- and post-tests, as well as follow-up testing 3 and 6 months after training. The main outcome measures were tinnitus-related distress measured with the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) and Tinnitus Questionnaire (TQ), tinnitus loudness, and pre- and post-training resting-state EEG activity in trained frequency bands. In Results, the neurofeedback protocol led to a significant reduction of tinnitus-related distress and tinnitus loudness. While distress remained on a low level even 6 months after the completion of training, loudness returned to baseline levels in the follow-up period. In addition, resting-state EEG activity showed an increase in the trained alpha/delta ratio over the course of the training. This ratio increase was related to training-induced changes of tinnitus-related distress as measured with TQ, mainly due to increases in the alpha frequency range. In sum, this study confirms the alpha/delta neurofeedback as a suitable option for the treatment of chronic tinnitus and represents a first step towards the development of individual neurofeedback protocols. This clinical trial was registered online at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02383147) and kofam.ch (SNCTP000001313).

PMID:
31049052
PMCID:
PMC6458878
DOI:
10.1155/2019/3540898
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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