Heidelberg Neuro-Music Therapy Enhances Task-Negative Activity in Tinnitus Patients.
ABSTRACT: Background: Suffering from tinnitus causes mental distress in most patients. Recent findings point toward a diminished activity of the brain's default-mode network (DMN) in subjects with mental disorders including depression or anxiety and also recently in subjects with tinnitus-related distress. We recently developed a therapeutic intervention, namely the Heidelberg Neuro-Music Therapy (HNMT), which shows an effective reduction of tinnitus-related distress following a 1-week short-term treatment. This approach offers the possibility to evaluate the neural changes associated with the improvements in tinnitus distress. We previously reported gray matter (GM) reorganization in DMN regions and in primary auditory areas following HNMT in cases of recent-onset tinnitus. Here we evaluate on the same patient group, using functional MRI (fMRI), the activity of the DMN following the improvements tinnitus-related distress related to the HNMT intervention. Methods: The DMN activity was estimated by the task-negative activation (TNA) during long inter-trial intervals in a word recognition task. The level of TNA was evaluated twice, before and after the 1-week study period, in 18 treated tinnitus patients ("treatment group," TG), 21 passive tinnitus controls (PTC), and 22 active healthy controls (AC). During the study, the participants in TG and AC groups were treated with HNMT, whereas PTC patients did not receive any tinnitus-specific treatment. Therapy-related effects on DMN activity were assessed by comparing the pairs of fMRI records from the TG and PTC groups. Results: Treatment of the TG group with HNMT resulted in an augmented DMN activity in the PCC by 2.5% whereas no change was found in AC and PTC groups. This enhancement of PCC activity correlated with a reduction in tinnitus distress (Spearman Rho: -0.5; p < 0.005). Conclusion: Our findings show that an increased DMN activity, especially in the PCC, underlies the improvements in tinnitus-related distress triggered by HNMT and identify the DMN as an important network involved in therapeutic improvements.
Project description:Although hearing aids (HAs) are sometimes efficacious in abating tinnitus, the precise mechanism underlying their effect is unclear and predictors of symptom improvement have not been determined. Here, we examined the correlation between the amount of tinnitus improvement and pre-HA quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) findings to investigate cortical predictors of improvement after wearing HAs. QEEG data of thirty-three patients with debilitating tinnitus were retrospectively correlated with the percentage improvements in tinnitus handicap inventory and the numerical rating scale scores of tinnitus. Activation of brain areas involved in the default mode network (DMN; inferior parietal lobule, parahippocampus, and posterior cingulate cortex) were found to be a negative predictor of improvement in tinnitus-related distress after wearing HAs. In addition, higher pre-HA cortical power at the medial auditory processing system or higher functional connectivity of the lateral/medial auditory pathway to the DMN was found to serve as a positive prognostic indicator with regard to improvement of tinnitus-related distress. In addition, insufficient activity of the pre-treatment noise canceling system tended to be a negative predictor of tinnitus perception improvement after wearing HAs. The current study may serve as a milestone toward a pre-HAs prediction strategy for tinnitus improvements in subjects with hearing loss and severe tinnitus.
Project description:Background: Tinnitus is the perception of a phantom sound without external acoustic stimulation. Recent tinnitus research suggests a relationship between attention processes and tinnitus-related distress. It has been found that too much focus on tinnitus comes at the expense of the visual domain. The angular gyrus (AG) seems to play a crucial role in switching attention to the most salient stimulus. This study aims to evaluate the involvement of the AG during visual attention tasks in tinnitus sufferers treated with Heidelberg Neuro-Music Therapy (HNMT), an intervention that has been shown to reduce tinnitus-related distress. Methods: Thirty-three patients with chronic tinnitus, 45 patients with recent-onset tinnitus, and 35 healthy controls were tested. A fraction of these (21/21/22) were treated with the "compact" version of the HNMT lasting 1 week with intense treatments, while non-treated participants were included as passive controls. Visual attention was evaluated during functional Magnet-Resonance Imaging (fMRI) by a visual Continous Performance Task (CPT) using letter-based alarm cues ("O" and "X") appearing in a sequence of neutral letters, "A" through "H." Participants were instructed to respond via button press only if the letter "O" was followed by the letter "X" (GO condition), but not to respond if a neutral letter appeared instead (NOGO condition). All participants underwent two fMRI sessions, before and after a 1-week study period. Results: The CPT results revealed a relationship between error rates and tinnitus duration at baseline whereby the occurrence of erroneous "GO omissions" and the reaction time increased with tinnitus duration. Patients with chronic tinnitus who were treated with HNMT had decreasing error rates (fewer GO omissions) compared to treated recent-onset patients. fMRI analyses confirmed greater activation of the AG during CPT in chronic patients after HNMT treatment compared to treated recent-onset patients. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that HNMT treatment helps shift the attention from the auditory phantom percept toward visual cues in chronic tinnitus patients and that this shift in attention may involve the AG.
Project description:Preliminary studies have demonstrated the therapeutic potential of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for chronic tinnitus. However, the findings are controversial and most of the studies investigated effects of a single session of tDCS and short after-effects, ranging from hours to days. To our knowledge, there is no published study investigating the effects of a chronic protocol of bilateral tDCS over auditory cortex (AC) with one month follow-up in a double blinded randomized clinical trial. This dataset presents the results of a double-blinded placebo controlled trial investigating the effects of chronic protocol (10 sessions) of tDCS over AC with 1 month follow-up. The data of the two groups, real tDCS (n=25) and sham tDCS (n=15), are reported. The dataset includes three main data groups: patient- and tinnitus-specific data, data of the primary and secondary outcomes, and data on the adverse effects of and tolerability to tDCS. The first group includes demographic information, audiometric assessments, and tinnitus-specific characteristics. The second group includes tinnitus handicap inventory (THI) scores, tinnitus loudness, and tinnitus related distress based on 0-10 numerical visual analogue scale (VAS) scores. The values of the primary and secondary outcomes for pre-intervention and at different time points following interventions are presented. THI scores pre-intervention and immediately post-intervention and at 1 month follow-up; the scores of tinnitus loudness and distress scores for pre-intervention, and immediately, 1 hour, 1 week, and at 1 month after the last stimulation session are presented. Moreover, the adverse effects of and tolerability to the tDCS were assessed using a customized questionnaire after the last tDCS session. This dataset can be used alone or in combination with other datasets using advanced statistical analyses and modeling to investigate the treatment efficacy of tDCS in chronic intractable tinnitus.
Project description:Tinnitus is the conscious perception of sound with no physical sound source. Some models of tinnitus pathophysiology suggest that networks associated with attention, memory, distress and multisensory experience are involved in tinnitus perception. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a multisensory attention training paradigm which used audio, visual, and somatosensory stimulation would reduce tinnitus. Eighteen participants with predominantly unilateral chronic tinnitus were randomized between two groups receiving 20 daily sessions of either integration (attempting to reduce salience to tinnitus by binding with multisensory stimuli) or attention diversion (multisensory stimuli opposite side to tinnitus) training. The training resulted in small but statistically significant reductions in Tinnitus Functional Index and Tinnitus Severity Numeric Scale scores and improved attentional abilities. No statistically significant improvements in tinnitus were found between the training groups. This study demonstrated that a short period of multisensory attention training reduced unilateral tinnitus, but directing attention toward or away from the tinnitus side did not differentiate this effect.
Project description:Previous studies have demonstrated that altered states of consciousness are related to changes in resting state activity in the default-mode network (DMN). Anatomically, the DMN can be divided into anterior and posterior regions. The anterior DMN includes the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex and other medial prefrontal cortical regions, whereas the posterior DMN includes regions such as the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and the temporal parietal junction (TPJ). Although differential roles have been attributed to the anterior and posterior DMN regions, their exact contributions to consciousness levels remain unclear. To investigate the specific role of the posterior DMN in consciousness levels, we investigated 20 healthy controls (7 females, mean age?=?33.6 years old) and 20 traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients (5 females, mean age?=?43 years old) whose brain lesions were mainly restricted to the bilateral frontal cortex but retained a well-preserved posterior DMN (e.g., the PCC and the TPJ) and who exhibited varying levels of consciousness. We investigated the intra- and cross-functional connectivity strengths (FCSs) between the right/left PCC and the right/left TPJ and their correlation with consciousness levels. Significant reductions in both the intra- and cross-hemispheric FCSs were observed in patients compared with controls. A significant correlation with consciousness levels was observed only for the cross-hemispheric PCC-TPJ FCS but not for the intra-hemispheric PCC-TPJ FCS. Taken together, our results show that the cross-hemispheric posterior DMN is related to consciousness levels in a specific group of patients without posterior structural lesions. We therefore propose that the PCC may be central in maintaining consciousness through its cross-hemispheric FC with the TPJ.
Project description:Tinnitus, the perception of sound in the absence of a corresponding sound, and the distress caused by it, is rarely a static phenomenon. It rather fluctuates over time depending on endogenous and exogenous factors. The COVID-19 pandemic is a potential environmental stressor that might influence the individually perceived tinnitus distress. Since not all people are affected by the pandemic in the same way, the situation allows one to identify environmental factors and personality traits that impact tinnitus distress differently. In our study, 122 tinnitus patients were included at two time points: in the year 2018 and during the German lockdown in April 2020. We assessed tinnitus-related distress, depressive symptoms, personality characteristics and the individual perception of the pandemic situation. On average, there was only a small increase of tinnitus distress with heterogeneous changes during the lockdown. People perceiving the situation as generally stressful with increased grief, frustration, stress and nervousness reported the worsening of tinnitus distress. People with high values in neuroticism also reported the worsening of tinnitus distress, while the personality traits extraversion, conscientiousness and openness seemed to be a protection factor. The study identifies factors that influence tinnitus distress change during a pandemic and spots those patients that need specific help in the pandemic situation.
Project description:The psychological process how tinnitus loudness leads to tinnitus distress remains unclear. This cross-sectional study investigated the mediating role of the emotional state "stress level" and of the two components of the emotional state "arousal" and "valence" with N = 658 users of the "TrackYourTinnitus" smartphone application. Stress mediated the relationship between tinnitus loudness and tinnitus distress in a simple mediation model and even in a multiple mediation model when arousal and valence were held constant. Arousal mediated the loudness-distress relationship when holding valence constant, but not anymore when controlling for valence as well as for stress. Valence functioned as a mediator when controlling for arousal and even when holding arousal and stress constant. The direct effect of tinnitus loudness on tinnitus distress remained significant in all models. This study demonstrates that emotional states affect the process how tinnitus loudness leads to tinnitus distress. We thereby could show that the mediating influence of emotional valence is at least equally strong as the influence of stress. Implications of the findings for future research, assessment, and clinical management of tinnitus are discussed.
Project description:Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) studies of adult posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have identified default-mode network (DMN) abnormalities, including reduced within-network connectivity and reduced anticorrelation between the DMN and task-positive network (TPN). However, no prior studies have specifically examined DMN connectivity in pediatric PTSD, which may differ due to neurodevelopmental factors.A total of 29 youth with PTSD and 30 nontraumatized healthy youth of comparable age and sex completed rs-fMRI. DMN properties were examined using posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) seed-based connectivity and independent component analysis (ICA).Contrary to findings in adult studies, youth with PTSD displayed increased connectivity within the DMN, including increased PCC-inferior parietal gyrus connectivity, and age-related increases in PCC-ventromedial prefrontal cortex connectivity. Strikingly, youth with PTSD also displayed greater anticorrelation between the PCC and multiple nodes within salience and attentional control networks of the TPN. ICA revealed greater anticorrelation between the entire DMN and TPN networks in youth with PTSD. Furthermore, DMN and TPN connectivity strength were positively and negatively associated, respectively, with re-experiencing symptoms of PTSD.Pediatric PTSD is characterized by heightened within-DMN connectivity, which may contribute to re-experiencing symptoms of PTSD and is consistent with the role of the DMN in autobiographical memory. At the same time, greater anticorrelation between the DMN and attentional control networks may represent compensatory mechanisms aimed at suppressing trauma-related thought, a notion supported by the inverse relationship between TPN strength and re-experiencing. These findings provide new insights into large-scale network abnormalities underlying pediatric PTSD, which could serve as biomarkers of illness and treatment response.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To investigate the co-occurrence of tinnitus-related distress and pain experiences alongside psychological factors that may underlie their association. METHOD:Patients with chronic tinnitus (N = 1238) completed a questionnaire battery examining tinnitus-related distress and affective and sensory pain perceptions. A series of simple, parallel- and serial multiple mediator models examined indirect effects of psychological comorbidities as well as -process variables including depressivity, perceived stress and coping attitudes. Moderator and moderated mediation analyses examined differential relational patterns in patients with decompensated vs. compensated tinnitus. RESULTS:There were significant associations between tinnitus-related distress and pain perceptions. These were partially mediated by most specified variables. Psychological comorbidities appeared to influence tinnitus-pain associations through their impact on depressivity, perceived stress, and coping attitudes. Some specific differences in affective vs. sensory pain perception pathways emerged. Patients with decompensated tinnitus yielded significantly higher symptom burden across all measured indices. Tinnitus decompensation was associated with heightened associations between  tinnitus-related distress and pain perceptions, depressivity and negative coping attitudes; and  most psychological comorbidities and sensory, but not affective pain perception. Moderated mediation analyses revealed stronger indirect effects of depressivity and anxiety in mediating affective-, and anxiety in mediating sensory pain perception in patients with decompensated tinnitus. CONCLUSION:Psychological constructs mediate the co-occurrence of tinnitus- and pain-related symptoms across different levels of tinnitus-related distress. Psychological treatment approaches should conceptualize and address individualised interactions of common cognitive-emotional processes in addressing psychosomatic symptom clusters across syndromatic patients with varying distress levels.
Project description:Functional magnetic resonance imaging research suggests that major depressive disorder (MDD) in both adults and adolescents is marked by aberrant connectivity of the default mode network (DMN) during resting state. However, emotional dysregulation is also a key feature of MDD. No studies to date have examined emotion-related DMN pathology in adolescent depression. Comprehensively understanding the dynamics of DMN connectivity across brain states in individuals with depression with short disease histories could provide insight into the etiology of MDD.We collected functional magnetic resonance imaging data during an emotion identification task and during resting state from 26 medication-free adolescents (13-17 years old) with MDD and 37 well-matched healthy control subjects. We examined between-group differences in blood oxygenation level-dependent task responses and emotion-dependent and resting-state functional connectivity of the two primary nodes of the DMN: medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). Additionally, we examined between-group differences in DMN functional connectivity and its relationship to depression severity and onset.Relative to healthy control subjects, unmedicated adolescents with MDD demonstrated reduced medial prefrontal cortex and PCC emotion-related deactivation and greater medial prefrontal cortex and PCC emotion-dependent functional connectivity with precuneus, cingulate gyrus, and striatum/subcallosal cingulate gyrus. The PCC-subcallosal cingulate connectivity remained inflexibly elevated in the subjects with MDD versus healthy control subjects during resting state. Stronger PCC emotion-dependent functional connectivity was associated with greater depression severity and an earlier age of depression onset.Adolescent depression is associated with inflexibly elevated DMN connections. Given more recent evidence of DMN maturation throughout adolescence, our findings suggest that early-onset depression adversely affects normal development of functional brain networks.