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Abstract #0841

Tinnitus is associated with hyperactivity in the frontal lobe and reduced activity in the auditory cortex

Binu P Thomas 1,2 , Kamakshi Gopal 3 , Mira D'Souza 3 , Deng Mao 1 , and Hanzhang Lu 1

1 Advanced Imaging Research Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, United States, 2 Department of Bioengineering, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center/University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, United States, 3 Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, United States

Tinnitus is a condition that causes perception of sound in the absence of an auditory stimulus. Millions of people are affected by this and yet the pathophysiology is not well understood. Current consensus is that tinnitus originates in the brain, so we measured biomarkers of brain function using MRI. We found that when tinnitus patients heard tones, at the same frequency as their tinnitus, their brain showed hyper-activations in the frontal lobe compared to controls. Resting cerebral blood flow was lower in the tinnitus patients in the auditory cortex, indicating abnormal function. Thus, tinnitus patients brains are hyper-attentive to sound, while their auditory cortex showed diminished function.

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