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Neurophysiol Clin. 2006 May-Jun;36(3):145-55. Epub 2006 Aug 22.

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS): a new therapeutic approach in subjective tinnitus?

Author information

1
Service ORL et chirurgie cervicofaciale, hôpital européen Georges-Pompidou, Paris, France. alain.londero@club-internet.fr

Abstract

Subjective (non-recordable) tinnitus is the conscious perception of a phantom sound, and a very frequent, sometimes disabling, condition. Even if subjective tinnitus is often related to peripheral hearing loss, neurophysiological and functional imaging studies provide increasing evidence for an involvement both auditory and non-auditory central nervous pathways in the generation of tinnitus and related distress. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been proposed to relieve tinnitus by reducing auditory cortex hyperexcitability associated with this condition. This paper will review the first clinical results reported in auditory cortex rTMS studies, with special reference to the pathophysiology of tinnitus processing and the mechanisms of action of rTMS. Although rTMS appears to be a very promising tool for the diagnosis and the treatment of tinnitus patients, available knowledge is still very limited at the moment. Further basic research and clinical studies are needed in order to optimize the parameters of stimulation (stimulus frequency, cortical target definition) and to validate the application of this technique in the management of patients with disabling tinnitus.

PMID:
17046609
DOI:
10.1016/j.neucli.2006.08.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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