While it’s mostly been a fantasy in science fiction movies, biotechnology is inching closer to reality and a company by the name of MicorTransponder is developing neuro-stimulation devices to cure tinnitus. During a recent clinical trial, they treated tinnitus patients with a neuro-stimulation device that delivered very positive results. While this is not a definitive tinnitus cure, it is a start in the right direction. MicroTransponder will continue to test this technology through their Serenity System, which is a neuros-stimulation based system with a small implanted battery and wires that internally connect to the vagus nerve in the neck. The patient also wears headphones and every time they hear a tone, the receive a small burst of neuros-stimulation to their vagus nerve.

Biomedical Research For Tinnitus Cure

Biomedical Research For Tinnitus Cure
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The goal of this strategy is to retrain the brain to shrink the abnormal representation of the phantom sound. In plain speak, they are attempting to rewire damaged neural circuits in the auditory cortex, which is what most researchers believe is the root cause of tinnitus symptoms. All of the firms technology is based on the premise that certain disorders arise from over or under-stimulated nerves, damaged neural pathways or over-allotment of neurons to specific tone frequencies. Here is what Sue Karlin had to say in a recent article about MicroTransponder at www.spectrum.ieee.org.

In 2008, when writers from game developer Eidos Montreal began mapping out the third of its Deus Ex game series, neuroengineer and Deus Ex fan Will Rosellini offered to bolster the scientific plausibility of their story lines.

Rosellini is the CEO of MicroTransponder in Dallas, which develops neurostimulation technology to treat neurological disorders such as tinnitus, chronic pain, stroke-induced motor loss, and post-traumatic stress. The technology uses implantable electronic devices to deliver small pulses of energy to nerves, triggering chemicals that enable the brain to remap specific parts.

A former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher, Rosellini’s fascination with sports performance led him to neuroscience after his athletic career ended. He has since earned a law degree, an MBA, and a master’s in computational biology, and will soon have a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Texas at Dallas. He helped launch MicroTransponder in 2007 to commercialize the research of Larry Cauller, a now-retired associate professor of neuroscience, who worked on robotic prosthetics that interfaced with human nervous systems.

The Human Revolution writers tapped Rosellini’s knowledge to portray more believable technology for the year 2027, when its story takes place. They came to the table with a wish list of 30 superhuman abilities for their characters. Rosellini whittled it by a third according to how existing science might realistically evolve, even helping them smooth over a major criticism involving rapid healing of characters.

“Players didn’t like automatic health regeneration, because it made the game easier,” says Rosellini. “But it was a necessary part of a game play feature, so I spent a lot of time examining how vagus nerve stimulation [which exists today as a treatment for depression] could speed the healing process. We added that information to booklets laying around and in e-mails you can see on computers in the game.”  You can see the rest of the original article here.

While this sounds like pure science fiction, scientists and researchers are capable of much more than we can currently imagine, and we are truly on the cusp of augmenting our bodies by using technology and science, and the reality is that researchers are closer than most can imagine to making these augmentations a reality that many might no care to believe.

Between this technology and all of the research that is going on with drug treatment studies, we feel sure that a tinnitus cure is just around the corner.  While we expected something like this to be forthcoming soon, we were excited to finally hear officially that MicorTransponder is developing neuro-stimulation devices to cure tinnitus, and that they were already having some small successes.  In time, nerve stimulation and nerve regeneration might be a common occurrence.  Any help in reducing the growing number of tinnitus sufferers would be welcome news to those that suffer from tinnitus symptoms.

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