Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mickey? Can you hear me now?

This headline is on the cover of this week's Neurology Today:

(click to enlarge)




Tinnitus is subjective, and I'm not sure I understand the article's explanation for measuring this. How do you know if a rat hears a ringing in his ears? How do you ask the rat if the ringing does (or doesn't) stop? How do you know if the ringing bothers the rat? How do you know this, Sam I am?

But, then again, I'm not a researcher. Not in a lab, or with a hat, or on a cab, or with a rat.

25 comments:

Old MD Girl said...

Maybe the experiment was done on a rat of NIMH?

Anonymous said...

As someone who has suffered with Tinnitus for years I'll gladly volunteer for the human trials!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Hmmm. They can't pay volunteers much, but do offer unlimited cheese.

Gen said...

Is there some way that they can measure whether or not the rat is hearing a ringing sound? Kinda like how newborn babies are hooked up to those ear phone things to determine if they're deaf.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Maybe they turn their heads one way or another? I do not know. Go ask your mother.

RSDS said...

All dairy products, including cheese, are bad for rodents.

Tinnitus is extremely stressful. There is no such thing as peace and quiet, ever. Ringing, ringing 24/7 with no relief. It makes migraines worse than they would otherwise be.

CrownedwithVictory said...

I think they just judge actions the rats do thereafter. If the drug works, the subject steps on the remote button to turn down the volume to "The Price is Right."

Anonymous said...

I found that article particular when I read about it a while ago...still, as someone who's suffered from tinnitus since birth (now being over 30 y.o.), I hope something can come from that initial spark... we'll see.
Worst-case-scenario: I'll gladly take the cheese man.

SB Gypsy said...

I was glad to learn from an article in Science News a few years ago that tinnitus is not an artifact of a damaged nerve or something, but it is a real sound in your ear. Caused by feedback or something, but it is an actual sound that can be picked up by a teeny tiny mic.

Anonymous said...

"They can't pay volunteers much, but do offer unlimited cheese."

what kind of cheese?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Venezuelan Beaver Cheese.

Anonymous said...

guess it's not artisanal.

Not House said...

Heck, for good cheese, you could GIVE me tinnitis.

ndenunz said...

@ Grumpy's last comment:

Sorry, fresh out.

Now, pardon me while I curtail my Walpoling activities. I'm feeling a bit peckish.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I knew at least one reader would pick up on that.

donna said...

I can picture it now: Little rat listens to the tones to check its
hearing and raises his paw or a
wee high five when he hears.

Packer said...

Vagus nerve stimulation always works for me. Whenever I experience tachychardia I do my vagus nerve stimulation, works for acid reflux too. I never heard about the tinnitus.

Brittney said...

Could be that they measured activity in the brain to figure out if they had ringing in the ears. Have they ever done that in people? Electrical activity or PET scans? Seems to me that if you heard ringing in your ears your brain has to register it somehow so you "know" your ears are ringing.

Cara said...

LOL at "I do not know, go ask your mother"

This blog is always a bright spot.

Jules said...

"I can picture it now: Little rat listens to the tones to check its
hearing and raises his paw or a
wee high five when he hears"


Dawwwwwww

Aleigh said...

I've tinnitus since I was child... it doesn't bother me or drive me to distraction, since the sound is not that loud. A clinical trial would be intresting, to see i f it would help.

Anonymous said...

so would adrenal stimulation be a way of driving vermin rats away?

The Mother said...

I haven't read the article, but I'm assuming you did. So how do they explain how they measure tinnitus in rats?

Anonymous said...

How do you know rat hears ringing: take single-cell recordings of the brain region that processes hearing (temporal lobe i believe) while in an isolated acoustic chamber

How do you ask the rat if ringing stops: train it to press a lever when it doesn't hear ringing, and train it not to press a lever when it does, observe behaviour

How do you know if the ringing bothers the rat: you don't!

pharmacy chick said...

Well at least we have a solution to the age old, heartbreaking situation of tinnitis in rats...

 
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