Computer-Based Brain Training Program
Research at Washington University
In January 2017, Dr. Piccirillo and other Washington University researchers published results of a clinical trial of a cognitive training program specially designed to exploit neuroplasticity for preservation and expansion of cognitive health in adults with tinnitus. Participants were 40 adults with bothersome tinnitus for more than 6 months and 20 age-matched healthy controls. Of the 40 adults with bothersome tinnitus, 20 were assigned to the cognitive training groups and were required to complete the cognitive training program for 1 hour per day, 5 days per week for 8 weeks. The other 20 adults with bothersome tinnitus did not use the cognitive training program. There was a significant difference between baseline and follow-up in functional connectivity in cognitive control regions of the brain in the cognitive training group but not in healthy controls or untreated tinnitus participants. Of the 20 patients in the cognitive training group, 10 (50%) self-reported improvement attributable to the intervention, and 6 (30%) reported to be much improved in the domains of tinnitus, memory, attention, and concentration.
These findings suggest that the computer-based cognitive training program is associated with self-reported changes in attention, memory, and perception of tinnitus. A possible explanation for these changes could be neuroplastic changes in key brain systems involved in cognitive control. Cognitive training programs might have a role in the future treatment of patients with tinnitus.
Kallogjeri, D.P., J.F.; Spitznagel,E.; Hale,S.; Nicklaus,J.E.; Hardin,F.M.; Shimony,J.S.; Calson,R.S.; Schlaggar, B.L.. Cognitive Training for Adults with Bothersome Tinnitus. A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017
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Patients with tinnitus hear phantom noise and are sometimes so bothered by the perceived ringing in their ears, they have difficulty concentrating. A new therapy does not lessen perception of the noise but appears to help patients cope better with it in their daily lives, according to new research.
This podcast highlights original research published in the May 2015 issue of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, the official journal of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) Foundation. Editor in chief John Krouse is joined by lead author Lauren Roland and associate editor Meredith Adams in discussing mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy for tinnitus. Tinnitus is a common problem that affects millions of patients on a chronic basis. In general there have been few treatment options for patients with tinnitus, and symptoms can be frustrating and debilitating for many individuals. In this paper, the authors utilize a therapeutic method that includes a cognitive-behavioral approach with planned meditation to reduce stress among patients. They were able to not only facilitate reduction in bother from tinnitus among a single group of selected patients, but also demonstrated changes in neural connectivity on functional MRI that suggested some adaptation to tinnitus with treatment. The authors discuss the implications of their interesting findings for patients bothered by tinnitus, and examine ideas for future research that would expand on the encouraging results noted in this pilot study.
Antibiotics don’t help fight sinus infections, says study author Jay Piccirillo, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Wash U. The findings should make it easier for physicians to explain why they’re reluctant to prescribe antibiotics to treat sinus infections, says Alan Glass, director of the student Health and Wellness Center at Washington University.
Mindfulness-Based Instructional Classes
Washington University is holding a series of Mindfulness classes. Next class starting Tuesday, March 28th, 2017. Workshop Flyer
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Please visit http://oto.wustl.edu/ClinicalDivisions