Alterations in Regional Homogeneity in Patients With Unilateral Chronic Tinnitus Article - 2019

Anthony Gentil, Jeremy Deverdun, Nicolas Champfleur, Jean-Luc Puel, Emmanuelle Le Bars, Frédéric Venail

Anthony Gentil, Jeremy Deverdun, Nicolas Champfleur, Jean-Luc Puel, Emmanuelle Le Bars, Frédéric Venail, « Alterations in Regional Homogeneity in Patients With Unilateral Chronic Tinnitus  », Trends in Hearing, 2019, p. 233121651983023

Abstract

Chronic subjective tinnitus is a widespread disorder. This perceptual anomaly is assumed to result from a dysbalance of excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms on different levels of the auditory pathways. However, the brain areas involved are still under discussion. Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigate differences in cerebral regional homogeneity (ReHo) between patients with unilateral chronic tinnitus and nontinnitus control subjects. To our knowledge, our study is the first to investigate the intraregional connectivity of patients with unilateral tinnitus in relation to hearing loss. Our analyses, based on strict recruitment and characterization of the participants, showed reduced ReHo in the primary auditory cortex contralateral to the side of the perceived tinnitus percept in patients. Reduced ReHo in this same region was also correlated with increased Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and Visual Analogue Scale for loudness scores, reflecting an alteration of synchronization in this region related to the perceived loudness of the tinnitus and the related distress. Furthermore, increased ReHo in the supramarginal and angular gyri ipsilateral to the tinnitus side was correlated with increased tinnitus duration and hearing threshold at the tinnitus pitch. The correlations observed in these brain areas, which are normally related to the nontinnitus ear, could highlight compensatory mechanisms in these secondary auditory regions.

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