Tinnitus and chronic pain share a common brain wiring problem?

This makes sense to me, phantom pain, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (now called complex regional pain syndrome), chronic pain and tinnitus (ringing or buzzing or whistling in the ears) have brain activities that seem to be in common.

I am told by ENT people that tinnitus is often caused by hearing loss, or associated with hearing loss as a brain substitute.

I guess so, some cases of tinnitus are very troublesome to the patient. Individuals have been known to commit suicide for tinnitus.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/69219/tinnitus-and-chronic-pain-share-common-brain-dysfunction

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One response to “Tinnitus and chronic pain share a common brain wiring problem?

  1. Tinnitus can have many causes, not all of them neurological. There is a funny effect called cochlear mechanical tinnitus that is a real motion that can be heard by an outside observer. It happens when feedback-enhanced receptors jump the threshold of excitation and oscillate at their natural frequency. If you’re old enough to know what ham radio is, you might remember the idea of a regen amplifier — that’s the gist of how ears work.

    http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Technology/tis/info/pdf/95hb1768.pdf

    The existence of mechanical feedback in sensory cells has been discovered relatively recently. I haven’t heard about it when I was a student, and I know a few practicing ENT doctors younger than myself who have first heard it from me. One would think something as remarkable would be common knowledge by know, but somehow it is not. Details here:

    http://www.jneurosci.org/content/12/12/4575.full.pdf

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