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A Comparison Study of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Tinnitus Treatment in an Asian Population

Lo YL, Cheong PW, Wong M, Fook-Chong S, Yuen HW, Chan YM | April 14, 2014

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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BACKGROUND:

Tinnitus, a subjective auditory perception of sounds or noise not triggered by external auditory stimuli, carries considerable morbidity. To date, pharmacological, physical or behavioral therapy is the mainstay of management.

METHODS:

We compared repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of 1000 or 2000 stimulations/day at 1 Hz and 110% of the motor threshold for 5 consecutive days over the left auditory cortex. Ratings based on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) rating scale were completed weekly for 4 weeks. None of the patients had significant hearing impairment.

RESULTS:

All 28 patients (age range 21-72; 18 men) tolerated rTMS well and no adverse effects were observed. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed significant decrease in THI scores over the entire time period (F (1,26)=11.33, p=0.002).
At every weekly time point of evaluation, ANOVA with repeated measures demonstrated significantly lower THI score compared to baseline.

RTMS treatment had resulted in tinnitus reduction in the range of 15-25% over the 4 week period. Separately, ANOVA also demonstrated significantly reducing THI for both the 1000 pulse (F (1,14)=4.8, p=0.04) and 2000 pulse (F (1,14)=6.56, p=0.02) rTMS treatment arms. Comparison of THI ratings between the 2 treatment arms did not result in significant difference (F (1,26)=1.48, p=0.24).

CONCLUSION:

The present study has revalidated the efficacy and safety of rTMS for improving tinnitus up to 4 weeks post-treatment in Asians. However, there was no significant difference with THI evaluation between the 1000 pulse and 2000 pulse treatment arms.


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