Exploring Tinnitus Etiology
Kim and colleagues (2012) used functional MRI (fMRI) to examine the inter-hemispheric resting-state functional connectivity between auditory and non-auditory areas of the brain in four tinnitus patients with left-ear dominant tinnitus, and six control patients. The resting state functional connectivity score between the left and right auditory cortex was statistically significantly lower in patients with chronic tinnitus, as compared to the control group. Additionally, the tinnitus patients demonstrated elevated intrinsic brain connectivity between auditory centers and (non-auditory) emotional and cognitive areas of the brain were noted. The authors report that tinnitus can interfere with cognition and subsequent cognitive disruption may cause conditioned emotional responses to tinnitus. They concluded that resting state functional MRI might be useful to investigate alterations in neuronal activity between auditory and non-auditory neural networks in tinnitus patients.
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Kim J-Y, Jim Y-H, Lee S, Seo J-H, Song H-J, Cho JH, Chang Y. (2012) Alteration of Functional Connectivity in Tinnitus Brain Revealed by Resting State fMRI? A Pilot Study. International Journal of Audiology 51:413-417.