Troubadours, romantics and Bono have all claimed at one point or another that music has the power to heal. They might finally get some backing from the scientific community if a group of researchers in Germany has any say. Researchers from Westfalian Wilhelms-University working with partners at Muenster University Hospital are treating tinnitus – the ringing or other interference experienced by many with noise-related hearing loss – with music that's custom-tailored to specific patients' tinnitus symptoms.
Recent research determined that a reorganization of the auditory cortex could be the root cause of tinnitus; that is, the part of the brain that makes audible sense of sound has been warped by noise exposure. Other research shows that behavioral training might reverse cortical reorganization. So the group began to "notch" patients' favorite music to filter out the specific one-octave frequency band of the ringing experienced by the subject.
After a year of listening to the music about 12 hours per week, patients reported marked improvement in their tinnitus compared to a control group listening to music that was notched at frequencies that did not correspond to their tinnitus. There are probably two causes working in conjunction that have led to the breakthrough, the researchers say: the faulty cortical neurons are not being stimulated because those frequencies are filtered from the music, and nearby neurons could be actively suppressing the faulty neurons through a process known as lateral inhibition (simply put, excited neurons have a tendency to reduce the excitement of nearby neurons).
Whatever the cause, for those tortured by a constant ringing sensation, the treatment must be music to their ears.
Wow! I have been looking for a cure for tinnitus for a long time. It keeps me up at night. I have trouble sleeping so much sometimes. I would pay a lot of money for a cure. I can't sleep without medicine. Granted I want it to be cheap for everyone but wow! I have suffered for so long. For years I couldn't hardly work and I definitely couldn't go to school. I'm 26 and I'm still working on my bachelors. I could really use this! Please come to america and save me! Or buy me a plane ticket. I have a passport! :) I'll learn german just help me please :)
They might finally get their backing from the scientific community? What the hell is that? Its like you took the intro of this article straight out of a bad journalism textbook. This is a stupid ploy to make the beginning of your article sound interesting but it really just shows that you don't belong writing articles on this topic, because you know so little about it.
The healing power of music has been scientifically accepted for quite some time - the industry known as Music Therapy has been rapidly moving into hospitals and clinics for the past decade. The ability for soothing music to lower blood pressure has helped countless patients recover from surgeries, heart attacks, and various other ailments. Stop using your silly journalism tricks to get people interested in your article at the expense keeping your article factual.