Intensity, duration, and location of high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation for tinnitus relief

Giriraj Singh Shekhawat, Frederick Sundram, Marom Bikson, Dennis Truong, Dirk De Ridder, Cathy M. Stinear, David Welch, Grant D. Searchfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and Objective. Tinnitus is the perception of a phantom sound. The aim of this study was to compare current intensity (center anode 1 mA and 2 mA), duration (10 minutes and 20 minutes), and location (left temporoparietal area [LTA] and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex [DLPFC]) using 4 × 1 high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS) for tinnitus reduction. Methods. Twenty-seven participants with chronic tinnitus (>2 years) and mean age of 53.5 years underwent 2 sessions of HD-tDCS of the LTA and DLPFC in a randomized order with a 1 week gap between site of stimulation. During each session, a combination of 4 different settings were used in increasing dose (1 mA, 10 minutes; 1 mA, 20 minutes; 2 mA, 10 minutes; and 2 mA, 20 minutes). The impact of different settings on tinnitus loudness and annoyance was documented. Results. Twenty-one participants (77.78%) reported a minimum of 1 point reduction on tinnitus loudness or annoyance scales. There were significant changes in loudness and annoyance for duration of stimulation, F(1, 26) = 10.08, P <.005, and current intensity, F(1, 26) = 14.24, P =.001. There was no interaction between the location, intensity, and duration of stimulation. Higher intensity (2 mA) and longer duration (20 minutes) of stimulation were more effective. Conclusions. A current intensity of 2 mA for 20-minute duration was the most effective setting used for tinnitus relief. The stimulation of the LTA and DLPFC were equally effective for suppressing tinnitus loudness and annoyance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-359
Number of pages11
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation
  • neuromodulation
  • noninvasive brain stimulation
  • tinnitus
  • treatment

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