Zwicker effect

r norman rsnorman_ at _comcast.net
Tue Jun 3 18:23:50 EST 2003

On 3 Jun 2003 15:34:15 -0700, tonyjeffs at aol.com (TonyJeffs) wrote:

>"John H." <johnh at faraway.xxx> wrote in message news:<3edcd89c at dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
>> Hmmm, wild speculator: how about botox for tinnitus????
>Hi John
>I can see the logic. Might make you deaf for the duration, but it'd
>give temporary respite.
>There was something 7 years ago that strikes me as similar in concept.
>A  Dr Blaxendale at Edinburgh University in Scotland was working on an
>electromagnetic collar which was designed to be fitted around the
>bladder nerve. When activated, it blocked, or enhanced, the signal in
>the nerve, enabling external control of the muscles, and artificially
>restoring contenence.
>Strikes me that something similar could enable a volume control to be
>fitted to the ear.  (But you might have to cut away a chunk of brain
>to make space for the device!!!)
>More practically, there are lots of medicines. They help mainly when
>people believe in them - but two interesting ones are....
>The two main neurotransmitters in the inner ear are Glutamate
>(afferent) and ACh (efferent). There are lots of drugs for each.
>There's been a lot done on mementine, a glutamate antagonist, but when
>you read about the alleged 80% succes, it is not at all convincing;
>wishful thinking imo on behalf of the researcher.
>I don't think there's been any research done on ACh antagonists, but
>there are serveal reports Ive read by people taking such drugs,
>occasionally for other reasons such as eye conditions, and they've
>expressed surprise at the effect on their tinnitus.
>So I Suspect that ACh antagonists really work - way above placebo.
>I have a collection of anecdotal reports to illustrate my point if
>anyone wants a look.  Scopolamine is known to work on the vestibular
>system and reduce sea-sickness.
>Re Zwicker
>Downloaded that graphic prog, and the C++ code.
>At first glance, that code is way out my league, but I'll pluck up
>courage and have another look....

A lot of the tinnitus speculation assumes it is a peripheral
phenomenon.  That is, there really is a sound to be heard or else that
the hair cells (or auditory nerve neurons) are generating it.  What if
it were a central process?  I was told that my situation was most
likely caused by the ABSENCE of auditory nerve activity -- the central
auditory centers "didn't like" the absence of normal stimulation and
took things into their own hands.  That is, the frequency range of the
ringing was higher than my upper limit of hearing.  Over the years as
the my high frequency cutoff dropped lower and lower, so did the
tinnitus tone. 

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