Tinnitus is a debilitating condition thought to be caused by the brain generating a signal in areas no longer stimulated by the auditory system. The brain’s natural plasticity can potentially be utilized to treat tinnitus, by stimulating adjacent regions of the brain. A new system that works on the auditory cortex to guide neuroplasticity has been developed by MicroTransponder, a spin-off company from University of Texas at Dallas, and the technology is now set to begin clinical trials.
The Serenity System couples an implantable vagus nerve stimulator with a tone generator that plays sounds of various frequencies while electric signals are delivered by the neurostimulator. Stimulating the vagus nerve releases chemicals involved in neuroplasticity, so doing so while playing the tones will hopefully train the brain to correlate the various sound frequencies to their normal areas in the auditory cortex.
Here’s a video from UT Dallas describing the technology:
Product page: Serenity System…