BOB HIRSHON (host):
Relief for ringing ears. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
As many as two million people, many of them veterans, experience ringing in the ears, or tinnitus, severe enough to prevent them from working. In the journal Science Translational Medicine, University of Michigan medical researcher Susan Shore and her colleagues describe a new treatment for the disorder, involving mild electric shocks to the head and targeted audio tones. She says the timing and location of the stimuli interrupt the nerve cells responsible for generating the annoying ringing.
SUSAN SHORE (University of Michigan):
What you’re doing is you’re tricking the brain into altering its circuitry to go back to normal.
Volunteers who underwent the treatment for 30 minutes a day for a month reported a decrease, or even complete cessation of symptoms. The team is now working to refine the technique and validate it in larger studies. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.
Story by Bob Hirshon