Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for the Treatment of Chronic Tinnitus After Traumatic Brain Injury: A Case Study

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Abstract

Tinnitus is a frequent symptom of traumatic brain injury, which is difficult to treat. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation has shown beneficial effects in some forms of tinnitus. However, traumatic brain injury in the past has been considered as a relative contraindication for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation because of the increased risk of seizures. Here we present the case of a 53-year-old male patient suffering from severe tinnitus after traumatic brain injury with comorbid depression and alcohol abuse, who received 5 treatment series of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (1 Hz stimulation protocol over left primary auditory cortex, 10 sessions of 2000 stimuli each, stimulation intensity 110% resting motor threshold). Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation was tolerated without any side effects and tinnitus complaints (measured by a validated tinnitus questionnaire and numeric rating scales) were improved in a replicable way throughout 5 courses of transcranial magnetic stimulation up to now.

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