Principal Investigator/Program Director (Last, first, middle): Zeng, Fan-Gang Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the absence of external sound. Tinnitus is a significant public health problem that affects 50 million Americans. Severe tinnitus disrupts daily functions from sleep to work, often leading to anxiety, depression and lowered quality of life. Despite significant advances in research and development, presently there is no cure for tinnitus. The present application uses noninvasive electric stimulation in the ear and minimally-invasive electric stimulation to the round window or promontory for safe and effective treatment of tinnitus. One innovation is to evaluate stimulation sites and patterns that evoke auditory sensations while minimizing non-auditory sensations. Another innovation is to provide two novel tinnitus treatment options, especially for those who still have significant acoustic hearing and cite tinnitus, and not hearing loss, as the main indication. In the preliminary study, 10 minutes of round window stimulation completely silenced the tinnitus not only during stimulation but also for 5 hours after the stimulation in a subject who had suffered from tinnitus for 15 years. Successful completion of the present work can lead to safe and effective medical devices for tinnitus treatment. Project Summary
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, affects 50 million Americans and is the number one service-related disability. Despite significant advances in neuroscience and neuroengineering, presently there is no FDA approved drug or device treatment for tinnitus. The present application uses targeted and patterned electric stimulation to treat tinnitus, likely bringing immediate relief from tinnitus or even permanent cure of this debilitating disease. The outcomes are likely a minimally invasive neural stimulator with optimized surgical techniques and programming parameters to be distributed by either a startup or an established company.
|Zeng, Fan-Gang (2017) Challenges in Improving Cochlear Implant Performance and Accessibility. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 64:1662-1664|
|Huang, Juan; Sheffield, Benjamin; Lin, Payton et al. (2017) Electro-Tactile Stimulation Enhances Cochlear Implant Speech Recognition in Noise. Sci Rep 7:2196|