Listening to Tailor-Made Notched Music Reduces Tinnitus Loudness and Tinnitus-Related Auditory Cortex Activity

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jan 19;107(3):1207-10. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0911268107. Epub 2009 Dec 28.

Abstract

Maladaptive auditory cortex reorganization may contribute to the generation and maintenance of tinnitus. Because cortical organization can be modified by behavioral training, we attempted to reduce tinnitus loudness by exposing chronic tinnitus patients to self-chosen, enjoyable music, which was modified ("notched") to contain no energy in the frequency range surrounding the individual tinnitus frequency. After 12 months of regular listening, the target patient group (n = 8) showed significantly reduced subjective tinnitus loudness and concomitantly exhibited reduced evoked activity in auditory cortex areas corresponding to the tinnitus frequency compared to patients who had received an analogous placebo notched music treatment (n = 8). These findings indicate that tinnitus loudness can be significantly diminished by an enjoyable, low-cost, custom-tailored notched music treatment, potentially via reversing maladaptive auditory cortex reorganization.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Auditory Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Music Therapy*
  • Placebos
  • Tinnitus / physiopathology
  • Tinnitus / prevention & control*
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Placebos