Patient Has Brain’s Tinnitus Patterns Mapped By Scientists
A tinnitus sufferer has had signals caused by the condition mapped by researchers. Scientists placed 164 electrodes on the man’s brain while he was undergoing surgery to try to treat his severe epilepsy, His brain activity when his tinnitus was loud was compared with periods when it was quiet. The findings, which have been published in Current Biology, show that differences between the two were spread over a wide area of the brain. Attempts to plot these changes in the past have included using MRI scanning but this is less precise than the 164 electrodes used in the latest study. It is the first time the abnormal activity of the network involved in tinnitus has been plotted in such detail.
Although researchers stress that this study involved just one individual, Prof Andrew King, an auditory neuroscientist at Oxford University, said the results were a “huge step up” in terms of tracing the detailed underpinnings of tinnitus.
He agreed the findings were a confirmation of the idea that tinnitus is not a simple product of changes in hearing but is far more complex.