Chronic tinnitus, noise or ringing in the ears, is a symptom associated with many forms of hearing loss or other health problems. There are no effective treatments for this condition, which can become so severe that it may be difficult to hear, work, or even sleep.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are now testing a non-invasive treatment – transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) – to target overactive areas in the brain responsible for tinnitus. TMS was recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of depression and has been extensively tested in Europe for tinnitus.
Michael Ruckenstein, MD, Professor of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery at the School of Medicine, will lead the study, in conjunction with John O’Reardon, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Penn’s Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Program. Study participants will undergo 4 weeks (20 sessions) of TMS sessions to see if the treatment improves tinnitus. For those who respond, there will be a 3 month extension phase (8 sessions – 4 in month 1, 2 each in months 2 and 3).
Adults may be eligible for the trial if they have had chronic tinnitus for more than 6 months and do not have any neurological or psychiatric conditions. For more information on this study, please contact 215-614-0036.