Image1_Treatment Tone Spacing and Acute Effects of Acoustic Coordinated Reset Stimulation in Tinnitus Patients.JPEG (445.27 kB)
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Image1_Treatment Tone Spacing and Acute Effects of Acoustic Coordinated Reset Stimulation in Tinnitus Patients.JPEG

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posted on 06.10.2021, 04:21 by Tina Munjal, Alexander N. Silchenko, Kristina J. Pfeifer, Summer S. Han, Jessica K. Yankulova, Matthew B. Fitzgerald, Ilya Adamchic, Peter A. Tass

Acoustic coordinated reset (aCR) therapy for tinnitus aims to desynchronize neuronal populations in the auditory cortex that exhibit pathologically increased coincident firing. The original therapeutic paradigm involves fixed spacing of four low-intensity tones centered around the frequency of a tone matching the tinnitus pitch, fT, but it is unknown whether these tones are optimally spaced for induction of desynchronization. Computational and animal studies suggest that stimulus amplitude, and relatedly, spatial stimulation profiles, of coordinated reset pulses can have a major impact on the degree of desynchronization achievable. In this study, we transform the tone spacing of aCR into a scale that takes into account the frequency selectivity of the auditory system at each therapeutic tone’s center frequency via a measure called the gap index. Higher gap indices are indicative of more loosely spaced aCR tones. The gap index was found to be a significant predictor of symptomatic improvement, with larger gap indices, i.e., more loosely spaced aCR tones, resulting in reduction of tinnitus loudness and annoyance scores in the acute stimulation setting. A notable limitation of this study is the intimate relationship of hearing impairment with the gap index. Particularly, the shape of the audiogram in the vicinity of the tinnitus frequency can have a major impact on tone spacing. However, based on our findings we suggest hypotheses-based experimental protocols that may help to disentangle the impact of hearing loss and tone spacing on clinical outcome, to assess the electrophysiologic correlates of clinical improvement, and to elucidate the effects following chronic rather than acute stimulation.

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