Objective: To report deep brain stimulation (DBS) effects in patients with tinnitus. Study Design: Case series with chart review. Setting: Tertiary medical center. Subjects and Methods: Seven patients implanted with DBS systems for movement disorders who also reported having tinnitus were interviewed about their tinnitus conditions. Four were available for testing in a specialized tinnitus clinic with their DBS systems turned off or on. Testing included matching of self-rated and psychoacoustically measured tinnitus loudness to measure the impact of DBS on tinnitus. Results: Three of the seven patients reported reduced tinnitus loudness when DBS was turned on. Of the four patients tested in the clinic, results indicated that DBS of the ventralis intermedius nucleus of the thalamus caused decreases in tinnitus loudness in two patients with relatively prolonged residual inhibition. Conclusion: These results suggest that DBS of nonauditory thalamus structures may provide tinnitus relief for some patients.
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