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Targeted Neural Plasticity for the Treatment of Tinnitus

Award Information

Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
93654
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
DC010084
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
MICROTRANSPONDER, INC.
2802 Flintrock Trace AUSTIN, TX -
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Targeted Neural Plasticity for the Treatment of Tinnitus
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1R43DC010084-01
Award Amount: $239,020.00
 

Abstract:

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This is an application to test the feasibility of reducing tinnitus by pairing left vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) with tone presentations to reorganize the auditory cortical frequency map. Approximately ten percent of a dults experience some degree of tinnitus, the perception of sound in the absence of an environmental acoustic stimulus. For one percent of the adult population, the experience is so severe that it makes it difficult to hear, work, or sleep. There is no gen eral treatment for tinnitus, although several treatments can alleviate or reduce tinnitus in some patients. Recent studies suggest that pathological reorganization of frequency mapping in the auditory cortex is a major contributor to the symptoms of tinnit us in many patients. In normal individuals, there is an evenly distributed tonotopic organization of the cortical auditory map and spontaneous synchronous activity is not observed. When tinnitus is present, the tonotopic organization is unevenly distribute d and spontaneous synchronous activity is observed, which is believed to account for the tinnitus. This spontaneous activity is believed to result from the uneven tonotopic organization of the auditory cortex. We propose to develop a neuroprosthetic approa ch for the treatment of tinnitus by pairing tone presentations with stimulation of the VNS to induce therapeutic reorganization of the uneven tonotopic quality of the auditory cortical frequency map. Electrophysiological studies will be used to evaluate th e effect of tone pairing with VNS to direct frequency specific changes on both tonotopic mapping and spontaneous synchronous activity. Behavioral studies conducted in an animal model of tinnitus will evaluate the potential clinical efficacy of this propose d therapy. Based on preliminary observations, pairing tones with VNS is expected to 1) realign the auditory cortex frequency map, 2) decrease spontaneous synchronous activity in the auditory cortex, and 3) eliminate the tinnitus perception. Combining this technique with current pharmacological, behavioral, and auditory therapies could greatly improve outcomes for a currently unmet medical need. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: MicroTransponder, Inc. is developing a novel treatment for tinnitus. This is an applicati on to test the feasibility of reducing tinnitus by pairing left vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) with tone presentations to reorganize the auditory cortical frequency map. Current pharmacological, auditory, and training therapies are likely to be more effecti ve if coupled with a mechanism to stimulate therapeutic cortical plasticity.

Principal Investigator:

Navzer Engineer
NAVZER@GMAIL.COM

Business Contact:

William Rosellini
will@microtransponder.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

MICROTRANSPONDER, INC.
MICROTRANSPONDER, INC. 12147 LUEDERS LN DALLAS, TX 75230

EIN/Tax ID: 120857383
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No