Tinnitus and pain.

Prog Brain Res. 2007;166:47-53. Related Articles, Links
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Tinnitus and pain.

Møller AR.

School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, GR41, PO Box 830688, Richardson, TX 75083-0688, USA.

Tinnitus has many similarities with the symptoms of neurological disorders such as paresthesia and central neuropathic pain. There is considerable evidence that the symptoms and signs of some forms of tinnitus and central neuropathic pain are caused by functional changes in specific parts of the central nervous system and that these changes are caused by expression of neural plasticity. The changes in the auditory nervous system that cause tinnitus and the changes in the somatosensory systems that cause central neuropathic pain may have been initiated from the periphery, i.e. the ear or the auditory nerve for tinnitus and receptors and peripheral nerves in the body for pain. In the chronic condition of tinnitus and pain, abnormalities in the periphery may no longer play a role in the pathology, but the tinnitus is still referred to the ear and central neuropathic pain is still referred to the location on the body of the original pathology. In this chapter we will discuss specific similarities between tinnitus and pain, and compare tinnitus with other phantom disorders. Since much more is known about pain than about tinnitus, it is valuable to take advantage of the knowledge about pain in efforts to understand the pathophysiology of tinnitus and find treatments for tinnitus.

PMID: 17956770 [PubMed – in process]

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