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Otol Neurotol. 2019 Jun;40(5S Suppl 1):S38-S42. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000002207.

Treatment of Tinnitus Using Theta Burst Based Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation-A Single Blinded Randomized Control Trial.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology.
2
Department of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether theta burst repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is an effective treatment for chronic tinnitus compared with a control stimulus.

STUDY DESIGN:

A two-arm, single-blind, randomized controlled trial comparing an active treatment group to a placebo control group.

SETTING:

Neurotology department of a tertiary referral center.

PATIENTS:

Forty new and existing patients with chronic unilateral or bilateral tinnitus were recruited from specialist hearing and balance clinics.

INTERVENTIONS:

The subjects were randomized into two groups representing the treatment and sham subcategories. Two 40 second trains, 15 minutes apart of transcranial stimulation was provided using a super rapid stimulator (2.2. Tesla, Magstim Inc., Wales, UK) using a circular delivery coil. Treatment was provided over 5 consecutive days.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Tinnitus functional index (TFI) scores were recorded before treatment, immediately after treatment, 2 weeks, and at 4 weeks following treatment and compared.

RESULTS:

TFI scores were analyzed using the Shapiro-Wilk test and found to be normally distributed. A paired Student t test was then performed. Both the active treatment group and control group had a significant improvement in their TFI scores following treatment; however, there was no significant difference between active treatment and sham treatment groups.

CONCLUSION:

This study demonstrated a significant placebo effect following treatment with sham therapy and may suggest that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation does not have a therapeutic use in treating chronic tinnitus.

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