Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Personalized non-invasive device to treat tinnitus

Technology #5507

Tinnitus, commonly known as ringing in the ears, affects approximately 50 million people in the U.S. alone, with a particularly high prevalence noted in the aging population. Moreover, tinnitus is the most common disability among U.S. military veterans, for whom estimated associated costs exceed $2 billion annually. In a substantial number of tinnitus cases, symptoms can be severe to debilitating, and there is currently no clinically validated, non-invasive treatment for the condition. Investigators at the University of Michigan discovered that neurons in a brain region responsible for tinnitus initiation are perturbed in a characteristic way during tinnitus (1-3). Treatments based on these findings are under development.  Intellectual Property: U.S. patent 9,242,067 and patent application #14/977,416. Additional patents are pending in Europe, Japan, and Canada. 1 Wu C, Martel DT, Shore SE. Increased Synchrony and Bursting of Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus Fusiform Cells Correlate with Tinnitus. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2016;36(6):2068-73. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3960-15.2016. PubMed PMID: 26865628. 2 Koehler SD, Shore SE. Stimulus timing-dependent plasticity in dorsal cochlear nucleus is altered in tinnitus. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2013;33(50):19647-56. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2788-13.2013. PubMed PMID: 24336728; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3858633. 3 Dehmel S, Pradhan S, Koehler S, Bledsoe S, Shore S. Noise overexposure alters long-term somatosensory-auditory processing in the dorsal cochlear nucleus–possible basis for tinnitus-related hyperactivity? The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2012;32(5):1660-71. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4608-11.2012. PubMed PMID: 22302808; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3567464.