01 Sep Explanation of Tinnitus Causes by Central Nervous System Problems
There are neural generators of tinnitus that are central, even when there is a
peripheral cause. Contemporary views are such that patients with
tinnitus suffer an inability to laterally inhibit in the cortical
frequency areas that map or reflect the injury damage in the
periphery. The loss of inhibition really equates with an increase of
excitation in the brain in areas associated with the lesion’s targets.
These changes are plastic in nature resulting in changes in the
function of the brain specific to the auditory system with a resultant
mismatch of excitation and inhibition. Because the auditory system is
multisynaptic, there may be plastic changes in all areas of the
activating system from the VIIIth nerve to the cochlear nucleus and
inferior colliculus with mapping error and also in the thalamus,
auditory cortex and the limbic system. Each neuron in the auditory
pathways has a specific frequency that is characteristic to that
neuron. Humans have a unique tonotopic representation that is
facilitated by individual neurons who have a characteristic reaction
to a specific frequency of sound. When neurons are activated
tonitopically they process the activation to central structures that
also inhibit through lateral projections, other neurons that have a
different frequency characteristic.
Sorry for the technical language but it is a difficult and complex process your body uses!
John Lieurance, DC, ND