Irish company Neuromod Devices has developed a device called Lenire, which is designed to treat tinnitus, a chronic tinnitus and ringing in the ears. This device became the embodiment of ideas and research of a number of teams from Germany, USA, Great Britain and other countries. About 270 volunteers who took part in the trial received a significant reduction in unpleasant symptoms.
Tinnitus is thought to be caused by a failure of neural transmission in the brain, when signals begin to travel where they shouldn’t. The part of the brain that is responsible for hearing cannot identify these signals due to their fake nature, and therefore perceives them as noise, hum. The idea of the new treatment is to load the brain with understandable acoustic signals, make it distracted by real work and ignore false signals. Left unattended, without reinforcing activity, these wrong connections will begin to degrade and disappear.
To distract the brain, bimodal neuromodulation is used, in which the delivery of acoustic signals through headphones is combined with the tingling of the tongue through the scapula with an electrode. Sounds consist of white noise and musical tones, somewhat reminiscent of ambient music. Both the sound component and the parameters of the electric current are selected strictly individually for each patient.
These settings can be changed, which opens up possibilities for using Lenire at home for permanent prevention of tinnitus. The authors of the development conducted a 12-month follow-up of volunteers, which was the first in the field of medical treatments for counteracting tinnitus for such a long time. And although the commercial version of the device is not ready yet, the development is in full progress.