An article in Nature reported that researchers were able to eliminate tinnitus (noise in the ears) by stimulating the vagus nerve in a group of rats. The brain can change in response to loud sounds which causes irregular nerve activity. This is thought to cause tinnitus. Researchers paired tones and pulses of vagus nerve stimulation, which eliminated the tinnitus in rats exposed to noise. A clinical trial in humans is due to begin in the next few months. Vagus nerve stimulation is currently used in humans to treat epilepsy and depression.
Originally posted on Kimberly Jones’ blog