Exploring Voluntary Control of Tinnitus
This pilot study aims to increase the understanding of tinnitus through the identification of potentially altered brain networks in patients who are able to voluntarily control or alter their tinnitus. Upon completion of this study, new knowledge will be gained about the changes in brain activity in people who are able to modify their tinnitus.
|Study Design:||Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
|Official Title:||Exploring Voluntary Control of Tinnitus: A Pilot Study|
- Changes in brain neural activity between before and after tinnitus modulation as detected on functional connectivity MRI. [ Time Frame: After completion of functional connectivity MRI ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
|Study Start Date:||August 2009|
|Study Completion Date:||February 2012|
|Primary Completion Date:||August 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Certain patients report that they are able to modulate the loudness or pitch of their tinnitus temporarily through various means, including attention re-direction or somatosensory mechanisms such as oral facial movements or head turn. This subset of patients may represent a unique opportunity for the researcher to gain insight into the mechanisms responsible for tinnitus.
Neural activity in the brain has been linked to increases in blood flow and blood oxygenation. These changes in the concentration of oxyhemoglobin versus deoxyhemoglobin alter the magnetic resonance signal of blood which may then be detected using an appropriate MR pulse sequence as blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) contrast. In addition to increases in blood flow due to evoked neural activity, the brain exhibits continuous low frequency spontaneous activity. These fluctuations tend to be synchronous in functionally related, but spatially distinct, regions of the brain even when not performing a prescribed task. The phrase functional connectivity has been used to implicate the neural activity that facilitates the coordinated activity of functionally related brain regions.
This study will use functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) to measure the network of synchronous brain activity in patients with tinnitus. Several targeted networks are those linked to the auditory system, attention, and control systems and the emotion systems linked to prefrontal cortex. Previously, functional MRI (fMRI) used changes in blood flow and blood oxygenation within the brain to detect which isolated regions of the brain were active during a task. The goal of functional connectivity research is to describe a pattern of interactions or a picture of the connectivity that occurs within distinct regions of the brain when the individual is not involved in a task.
|United States, Missouri|
|Washington University School of Medicine|
|St. Louis, Missouri, United States, 63110|
|Principal Investigator:||Jay F Piccirillo, MD||Washington University School of Medicine|