Trending Clinical Topic: Tinnitus

Ryan Syrek

Disclosures

October 04, 2019

Each week, we identify one top search term, speculate as to what caused its popularity, and provide an infographic on a related condition. If you have thoughts about what's trending and why, feel free to share them with us on Twitter or Facebook.

A potential new treatment option and recently released draft guidelines helped make tinnitus this week's top trending clinical topic. Tinnitus is a sensory phantom perceptual disorder in which individuals hear a humming, buzzing, piercing, or other noise that does not correspond with physical sources. These sounds can affect daily living, but a new open-label study has identified a potential treatment. Bilateral deep brain stimulation of the caudate nucleus was found to be safe and effective in patients with severe refractory tinnitus. Researchers were encouraged by the results of the small study and plan to use brain imaging to pinpoint personalized targeted areas for treatment in a phase 2 trial.

Elsewhere, the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence  released draft guidelines on the assessment and management of tinnitus. The draft guidelines advise healthcare professionals to discuss how tinnitus has affected the patient and to develop a management plan based on individual needs and preferences. This could include psychological therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. The group also called for further research on such treatments  as neuromodulation and for more evidence on sound therapy, methods for assessing tinnitus in primary care, and the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of psychological therapies for children and young adults. Considering that tinnitus is an incredibly common condition affecting almost 50 million Americans and more than 350 million people worldwide, interest in these new guidelines and potential treatment options is understandably quite high.

Read more about tinnitus.

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