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Author: admin, 25.09.2013. Category: Treatment For Tinnitus

University of Illinois speech and hearing science professor Fatima Husain and her colleagues found that tinnitus, a condition in which a person hears a ringing sound despite the lack of an actual sound, is associated with emotional processing in a different part of the brain than in those without the condition. Tinnitus afflicts 50 million people in the United States, according to the American Tinnitus Association, and causes those with the condition to hear noises that aren't really there. University of Illinois speech and hearing science professor Fatima Husain, who led the study, said previous studies showed that tinnitus is associated with increased stress, anxiety, irritability and depression, all of which are affiliated with the brain's emotional processing systems. She decided to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans to better understand how tinnitus affects the brain's ability to process emotions.
The tinnitus and normal-hearing groups responded more quickly to emotion-inducing sounds than to neutral sounds, while patients with hearing loss had a similar response time to each category of sound.
Activity in the amygdala, a brain region associated with emotional processing, was lower in the tinnitus and hearing-loss patients than in people with normal hearing. Because of the sheer number of people who suffer from tinnitus in the United States, a group that includes many combat veterans, Husain hopes her group's future research will be able to increase tinnitus patients' quality of life. People with 'neurotic' tendencies are more likely to be troubled by their tinnitus, a new study involving researchers at The University of Nottingham, has found.

A research project, led by the University of Liverpool and Aintree University Hospital, is giving new hope to patients living with tinnitus. After eating a meal, you can thank your vagus nerve for sensing and signaling that feeling of fullness to your brain. Combining two cutting-edge techniques reveals that neurons in the prefrontal cortex are built to respond to reward or aversion, a finding with implications for treating mental illness and addictions. It is not surprising that a good night's sleep improves our ability to remember what we learned during the day.
When it comes to measuring brain activity, scientists have tools that can take a precise look at a small slice of the brain (less than one cubic millimeter), or a blurred look at a larger area.
A new study from MIT neuroscientists reveals that a gene mutation associated with autism plays a critical role in the formation and maturation of synapsesa€”the connections that allow neurons to communicate with each other.
These phantom sounds are not speech, but rather whooshing noises, train whistles, cricket noises or whines. These scans show the areas of the brain that are active in response to stimulation, based upon blood flow to those areas.

Each person was put in an fMRI machine and listened to a standardized set of 30 pleasant, 30 unpleasant and 30 emotionally neutral sounds (for example, a baby laughing, a woman screaming and a water bottle opening).
Over all, the tinnitus group's reaction times were slower than the reaction times of those with normal hearing.
Tinnitus patients also showed more activity than normal-hearing people in two other brain regions associated with emotion, the parahippocampus and the insula.
The participants pressed a button to categorize each sound as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.

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