Name of treatment

Desyncra™

Type of treatment

Sound therapy/neuromodulation

BTA opinion on this treatment

Little independent evidence of the effectiveness of this device and neuromodulation in general.

Claims for treatment

“[An] acoustic signal is used to disrupt or “desynchronize” the abnormal neuronal behavior identified as the cause of tinnitus.” [1]

“Clinically significant improvements in… chronic tinnitus symptoms.”[2]

How treatment is delivered

The Desyncra™ acoustic stimulus is delivered using an iPod touch with earbuds for four to six hours per day for three months, then as needed. This time can be one continuous period or split into several sessions[3]

Potential negative consequences

Desyncra™ is generally regarded as safe and well tolerated, although some trial participants reported an increase in their tinnitus.[4]

Cost

Evidence offered:

 

Papers available

PubMed database has 35 papers with both ‘tinnitus’ and ‘neuromodulation’ in the title. Eight studies were included in a systematic review[5]. NICE have published an evidence review for neuromodulation.[6]

Conclusions drawn

The available evidence is insufficient for clinical implementation of acoustic CR neuromodulation. A proof for the claim of desynchronization is still lacking.[7]

“the use of neuromodulation was not justified in the absence of clear clinical effectiveness data.”[8]

Quality of evidence[9]

A

Does the BTA recommend this treatment?

No, until more high-quality evidence is available.

Would the BTA support further studies into this treatment?

Yes, provided that the study is of high quality and fully independent.

Verdict: Safety - is this treatment harmful?

Regarded as safe

Verdict: Efficacy - does this treatment work?

No independent evidence of effectiveness

Comments

More randomised, placebo‐controlled, double‐blind studies with large sample sizes are needed to confirm the effectiveness of neuromodulation for tinnitus patients. Uniform, validated, tinnitus‐specific questionnaires and measurement scales should be used in future studies.

We welcome feedback on all our information. Please email any corrections or updates for consideration to Nic Wray, Communications Manager.

Download this information

Tinnitus and Desyncra™ [PDF]

 
Written September 2021

Due for review September 2024


Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

[1] Ear Institute of Chicago. Desyncra™ Treatment for Non-Pulsatile Tinnitus. https://www.chicagoear.com/our-services/hearing-aid-center/tinnitus/deyncra-treatment/ [accessed 6 September 2021]

[2] Wurzer H, Hauptmann C. Clinical Experiences with Acoustic CR Neuromodulation in Patients with Chronic Tinnitus. Journal of Clinical Studies and Medical Case Reports. December 2018. DOI:10.24966/CSMC-8801/100059

[3] Hauptmann C, Strobel A, Williams M et al. Acoustic Coordinated Reset Neuromodulation in a Real Life Patient Population with Chronic Tonal Tinnitus. Biomed Research International. 2015; 2015: 1-8. DOI: 10.1155/2015/569052

[4] Wurzer H, Hauptmann C. Clinical Experiences with Acoustic CR Neuromodulation in Patients with Chronic Tinnitus. Journal of Clinical Studies and Medical Case Reports. December 2018. DOI:10.24966/CSMC-8801/100059

[5] Wegger M, Ovesen T, Larsen DG. Acoustic Coordinated Reset Neuromodulation: A Systematic Review of a Novel Therapy for Tinnitus. Front Neurol. 2017;8:36. Published 2017 Feb 13. doi:10.3389/fneur.2017.00036

[6] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Evidence review for neuromodulation: Tinnitus: assessment and management: Evidence review O. (UK); 2020 Mar. (NICE Guideline, No. 155.) Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557035/ [accessed 6 September 2021]

[7] Wegger M, Ovesen T, Larsen DG. Acoustic Coordinated Reset Neuromodulation: A Systematic Review of a Novel Therapy for Tinnitus. Front Neurol. 2017;8:36. Published 2017 Feb 13. doi:10.3389/fneur.2017.00036

[8] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Evidence review for neuromodulation: Tinnitus: assessment and management: Evidence review O. (UK); 2020 Mar. (NICE Guideline, No. 155.) Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557035/ [accessed 6 September 2021]

[9] A = Systematic review/meta analysis. B = Randomised control studies. C = Cohort studies. D = Case control studies. E = case studies/reports. +/- to be used to indicate quality within bands