Silencing neural symphonies with deep brain stimulation

Gusta van Zwieten

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Tinnitus is one of the major health care problems of the current era. So far, therapies have aimed at symptomatic relief, but fail to eliminate the actual phantom sound. The studies in this thesis investigate the effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in central auditory structures on tinnitus suppression in a preclinical setting. The novel results indicate that DBS of multiple targets (dorsal cochlear nucleus, medial geniculate body) in the auditory circuit alleviates tinnitus-like behaviour in rats. Follow-up experiments explored neural mechanisms that might underlie tinnitus pathophysiology and DBS. This research classified four different functional classes of neurons in the medial geniculate body and postulated on their distinctive roles in tinnitus pathophysiology. Furthermore, it was measured that DBS causes thalamocortical desynchronization. Finally, a protocol is presented for a first-in-human application of DBS in patients with serious and therapy resistant tinnitus. This study is currently executed at the Maastricht University Medical Centre.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Temel, Yasin, Supervisor
  • Stokroos, R.J., Supervisor, External person
  • Janssen, Mark, Co-Supervisor
Award date9 Jul 2021
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464165425
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • deep brain stimulation
  • tinnitus
  • thalamus
  • treatment


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