“The device plays a sound into the ears, alternating it with precisely timed, mild electrical pulses delivered to the cheek or neck. This sets off a process called stimulus timing-dependent plasticity, or STDP. The approach aims to reset the activity of fusiform cells,” the authors wrote.
They then tested their invention on 20 humans, who used it for a half an hour everyday for one month. After analyzing the results, they found that two of the participants were cured completely, and 11 reported reduced noise and pitch levels.
“We’re definitely encouraged by these results, but we need to optimize the length of treatments, identify which subgroups of patients may benefit most, and determine if this approach works in patients who have nonsomatic forms of the condition that can’t be modulated by head and neck maneuvers,” Shore said.
While they plan to continue their investigations, they hope the device can be used as treatment for patients who suffer from tinnitus.
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