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Neuroreport. 2003 May 23;14(7):977-80.

Neuronavigated rTMS in a patient with chronic tinnitus. Effects of 4 weeks treatment.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Regensburg, Germany.


Clinical, neurophysiological and neuroimaging data suggest that chronic tinnitus resembles neuropsychiatric syndromes characterised by focal brain activation. Low frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been proposed as an efficient method in treating brain hyperexcitability disorders. In one patient suffering from chronic tinnitus, [18F]deoxyglucose PET revealed increased metabolic activity in a circumscript area of the left primary auditory cortex (PAC). The effect of MRI and PET guided neuronavigated 1 Hz rTMS of this area was evaluated in a single-blind, sham-controlled, cross-over manner, followed by a 4-week open treatment. Following active stimulation there was a remarkable effect, enduring several weeks, on tinnitus sensation, which was paralleled by altered cortical excitability. These findings suggest that neuronavigated rTMS of increased PAC activity might offer a new option for treating auditory phantom perceptions like chronic tinnitus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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