Washington University Med School
Brookings

Tinnitus-Related Research


JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

Computer-Based Cognitive Training Program May Help Patients with Severe Tinnitus

In a study published online by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, researchers evaluated the effect of a cognitive training program on tinnitus.

Individuals with tinnitus have poorer working memory, slower processing speeds and reaction times and deficiencies in selective attention. Neuroplasticity (the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections) has been the foundation for the creation of several cognitive enhancement programs intended to slow normal aging and potentially improve disorders such as attention deficits. Brain Fitness Program-Tinnitus (BFP-T) is a cognitive training program specially designed to exploit neuroplasticity for preservation and expansion of cognitive health in adults with tinnitus.

Jay F. Piccirillo, M.D., of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Editor, JAMA Otolaryngology-¬Head & Neck Surgery and colleagues randomly assigned 40 adults with bothersome tinnitus for more than 6 months and 20 age-matched healthy controls to a BFP-T or non-BFP-T control group. Participants in the intervention group were required to complete the BFP-T online one hour per day, five days per week for eight weeks. The BFP-T contains 11 interactive training exercises (simple acoustic stimuli, continuous speech, and visual stimuli) in an attempt to address the attentional effect of tinnitus. Tinnitus assessment, neuroimaging, and cognitive testing were completed at baseline and 8 weeks later. The controls underwent neuroimaging and cognitive assessments.

The researchers found that patients with tinnitus in the BFP-T group had improvements in tinnitus perception, memory, attention, and concentration compared with patients in the non-BFP-T control group. Neuroimaging changes in brain systems responsible for attention and cognitive control were observed in patients who used the BFP-T. “A possible mechanistic explanation for these changes could be neuroplastic changes in key brain systems involved in cognitive control,” the authors write.

No changes in behavioral measures were observed between the two tinnitus study groups.

“We believe that continued research into the role of cognitive training rehabilitation programs is supported by the findings of this study, and the role of neuroplasticity seems to hold a prominent place in the future treatments for tinnitus,” the researchers write. “On the basis of our broad recruitment and enrollment strategies, we believe the results of this study are applicable to most patients with tinnitus who seek medical attention.”
(JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online January 19, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2016.3779. The study is available pre-embargo at the For The Media website.)


https://consumer.healthday.com/hearing-information-19/tinnitus-health-news-661/brain-training-may-help-ease-ringing-in-the-ears-718866.html

 


Tinnitus Research Study Opportunity!

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY:
The purpose of the study is to look at a new way of assessing how much your tinnitus bothers you on a daily basis. We will do this study using smartphone technology.

WHO IS NEEDED?
Adults ages 20-70 with tinnitus

WHAT IS INVOLVED IF I PARTICIPATE?
1. Duration: Participation lasts approximately 12 weeks
2. Tests/procedures: Participation includes completing surveys and completing online brain training exercises
3. Risks: Risks will be discussed with volunteers as part of the informed consent process.
4. Benefits: Benefits will be discussed as part of the informed consent process.
5. Compensation: Up to $200.

WHO IS THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (PI)?
Dr. Jay Piccirillo

WHERE WILL THE STUDY TAKE PLACE?
Online only

Click here to complete the questionnaire:  https://is.gd/EMAStudy_screening

I’M INTERESTED! WHO DO I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?
Kate Gerull
kgerull@wustl.edu


To be considered for other ENT related research studies please register with the Otolaryngology Research Participant Registry