Medical College of Wisconsin Experts Studying Effects of Cortical Stimulation on ''Ringing in the Ears''

Physicians at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and Froedtert Hospital today announced the initiation of a study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of cortical stimulation in patients with severe tinnitus. Tinnitus is the perception of sound where none exists; a common form is "ringing in the ears."

Approximately two million Americans are considered to be severely disabled by tinnitus, which in severe cases can interfere with sleep, concentration, hearing, social interaction and work. Cortical stimulation therapy involves the precise delivery of low-levels of electricity to the surface of the brain via an implanted investigational stimulator system. Based on previous research and literature, it is believed cortical stimulation may be effective in changing the coding of tinnitus in the brain.

"Currently, there is no cure for tinnitus," said Brian Kopell, M.D., assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Medical College. "By studying cortical stimulation to treat tinnitus, we are potentially broadening the range of treatment options for people to find relief from this debilitating condition."

The trial focuses on people with severe tinnitus. Eligible participants must be 18 years or older and have been diagnosed as suffering from tinnitus for longer than one year. Patients who would like to receive more information or enroll in the trial should contact the clinical coordinator for the study at 414-805-3069.

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