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Does the Direction of Current Affect Outcomes of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Tinnitis?


Clinical trial determines that the direction of current in transcranial magnetic stimulation for tinnitus matters

This clinical trial explores the use of magnetic stimulation with different current directions for the treatment of tinnitus. Tinnitus is a condition in which people hear ringing, buzzing, or other sounds in their ears or head that isn't coming from an external source. It can be a frustrating and debilitating condition that can interfere with daily life. There is no known cure for tinnitus, but research to find an effective treatment is ongoing. One such option is 1 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS).

rTMS is a non-invasive technique that uses a magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. It has been used to treat a variety of neurological and psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. Traditionally 1 Hz rTMS is used to alleviate tinnitus-associated pathological hyperactivity of the auditory cortex (the part of the brain that controls hearing). However, available scientific and clinical evidence is inconclusive so far.

Clinical Trial

The clinical trial was conducted on a number of tinnitus patients who underwent treatment with non-invasive 1 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation with different current directions, and the results were promising.

The trial involved nine tinnitus patients who were treated in two different groups each comprised of 10 treatment sessions using 3000 biphasic pulses of 1 Hz rTMS applied over the left temporoparietal cortex (responsible for processing sound) of the brain employing current in either an anterior-posterior to posterior-anterior (AP-PA) or posterior-anterior to anterior-posterior (PA-AP) direction. In the anterior-posterior direction, the magnetic field was applied from the front to the back of the head. In the posterior-anterior direction, the field was applied from the back to the front of the head.

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The results of the clinical trial showed that while both treatments led to significant improvements in tinnitus symptoms, a primary posterior-anterior to anterior-posterior (PA-AP) current flow caused a superior reduction in tinnitus-related symptoms, particularly tinnitus unpleasantness, loudness, and tinnitus-related distress.

The results of the clinical trial are significant as they suggest that the direction of the magnetic field and hence, the direction of the current may affect the effectiveness of rTMS for tinnitus.


The clinical trial found that the direction of current in 1 Hz rTMS treatment affected the overall clinical outcomes in tinnitus patients. These results offer hope for people suffering from this frustrating and debilitating condition. If you or someone you know is interested in trying rTMS for tinnitus, it's important to talk to a doctor or a qualified healthcare professional first.

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.