Neuromodulation Methods to Suppress Tinnitus in Somatosensory Subtypes: A Case Series

  • Mark Lawrence Johnson University of North Texas Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center, Capitola
  • Eugenia Bodenhamer-Davis University of North Texas
  • Michael S. Gates University of North Texas
Keywords: Neuromodulation, Microcurrent Electrical-Stimulation Therapy, neurofeedback, EEG, qEEG


Background: Some initial evidence suggests that neurofeedback and electrical stimulation therapy modalities may suppress tinnitus in some individuals.  This study retroactively examined a case series of adults treated for tinnitus using varied neuromodulatory interventions, to explain relationships between etiological factors for tinnitus and differential responses to these interventions.  Methods: Eight tinnitus client records were used to examine the efficacy of several different neuromodulation modalities used to treat tinnitus, which included neurofeedback, cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES), and microcurrent electrical therapy (MET).  Pre- and posttreatment measures (BAI, BDI, BHS, PSQI, THI, and TSS) were then compared for changes related to treatment outcomes.  Results: Paired-sample t-tests showed the Tinnitus Severity Scale (TSS) and the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) to be significantly different following treatment, with tinnitus severity subsiding and sleep quality improving.  Discriminant function analysis using the TSS, THI, and PSQI (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) difference scores correctly classified all (100%) participants in either the somatosensory or nonsomatosensory groups.  Conclusions: Results of this small pilot study suggest that MET can improve tinnitus symptoms for individuals with a somatosensory form of the disorder in which tinnitus percept is unilateral or greater in degree on one side, fluctuates in intensity, and appears to involve musculoskeletal or central nervous system overarousal pathogenesis.

Author Biographies

Mark Lawrence Johnson, University of North Texas Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center, Capitola

UNT - Assistant Clinical Coordinator - Neurotherapy Lab

BAPWC - Department of Psychology - Psychologist

Eugenia Bodenhamer-Davis, University of North Texas

Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work, and Addictions

Psychologist; Director of Neurotherapy Lab


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