Treatment effect in tinnitus
research is commonly evaluated by use of self-report questionnaires. As this is a solely subjective assessment method, the need for an objective measurement
is paramount to genuinely evaluate the effects of therapeutic interventions. The current study explores the value of event-related potentials
(ERPs) in the evaluation of high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation
(HD-tDCS) for tinnitus
Prospective exploratory study.
Tertiary referral center.
Twenty-two chronic tinnitus
Main Outcome Measures:
The results show a significant shortening of the N1, P2, N2, and P3 latencies after HD-tDCS treatment. Moreover, the increased amplitude of the P2 and N2 peaks result in more salient and clear peaks, with the amplitude of N2 being significant larger after HD-tDCS. However, the ERP changes are not significantly correlated with the change in tinnitus
functional index (TFI) total score.
The current study was the first to explore ERPs as objective measure in a study with HD-tDCS in tinnitus
patients. Adding ERPs to the outcome measures in tinnitus
research may lead to a better understanding of the therapeutic effect in the future. The results showed a shortening of ERP latencies and an increased N2 amplitude, possibly reflecting more effective sound processing with higher recruitment of synchronized neurons in the auditory cortex. Future studies should elaborate on these results, by collecting control data and adding a sham group, to provide a better insight in the underlying mechanism of the ERP changes after tinnitus