Are AudioNotch’s Effects Permanent? What the Research Says – FAQ Update
While long term follow up studies have not yet been done on individuals whose tinnitus volume decreased after a completed treatment with Notched Music, the researchers who developed it have written the following:
The observed reductions in tinnitus loudness, annoyance and handicapping as well as the reductions in evoked neural activity appear cumulative, indicating a long-term neuroplastic effect. There is evidence in humans that tinnitus is associated with a relative excitatory-inhibitory cortical neural network dysbalance, at the expense of the inhibitory system.
This loss of inhibition may lead to hyperactivity and/or spontaneous hypersynchrony of a certain cortical neuronal population, which would eventually contribute to the tinnitus perception. By means of our customized music modification, we intended to “re-attract” lateral inhibition to these neurons in order to reverse their maladaptive hyperactivity and/or hypersynchrony. It might be a consequence of this induced reversion that the tinnitus related auditory cortex activity of the target group patients decreased, and that their tinnitus became less loud (and possibly therefore less annoying and less handicapping).
Importantly, the loudness reduction effect did not seem to be persistent: already 3 days after TMNMT completion, it was no longer measurable. We interpret this only short-lasting effect duration as indication that the induced plastic changes were merely functional and therefore transient in their nature – to elicit more stable and persistent effects, i.e. large-scale structural changes , the training needs to be performed over a longer period of time, presumably at least several weeks or even months. This assumption is also strongly supported by studies investigating rehabilitative training approaches for different diseases thought to be associated with maladaptive brain plasticity, for instance focal hand dystonia , and phantom limb pain, .
In summary, the weight of the evidence indicates that if Notched Music Therapy’s beneficial effect in volume reduction is to be permanent, then one must listen for at least several months of time. In the long term study conducted the treatment time was 12 months. In short – more is better, at least up until 12 months (beyond which there is no data as no one has conducted an experiment with a treatment period exceeding that time frame).