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Trattamento dell’Acufene con Cellule Staminali

Tinnitus is experienced as annoying sounds like ringing, clicking, buzzing, hissing, humming or roaring in the absence of any corresponding external sounds.
Tinnitus is experienced as annoying sounds like ringing, clicking, buzzing, hissing, humming or roaring in the absence of any corresponding external sounds.

Hearing loss is the most prevalent sensory ailment, affecting about 360 million people worldwide. The condition is caused primarily by damage to the hair cells and neurons of the inner ear. In some patients, hearing loss results in tinnitus.

Stem cell therapy for tinnitus has shown some promising results in treating inner ear inflammatory damage because of its multi-directional differentiation potential and immunosuppressive function. Keep reading to learn more about tinnitus stem cell cure approaches, the role of stem cells, and the expected results. 

What Is Tinnitus and Its Signs?

Tinnitus, commonly referred to as ringing in the ears, is a symptom indicating an issue with the auditory system, which includes the ear, the auditory nerve connecting the inner ear to the brain, and brain parts responsible for processing sound. 

Tinnitus can sound like a high-pitched or low-pitched roaring, humming, clicking, hissing, or buzzing in the absence of any corresponding external sound. The condition affects almost 10% of the adult population in the United States and approximately 90% of cases of chronic tinnitus are associated with some degree of sensorineural hearing loss.

The following causes are associated with the development of tinnitus: 

Common Reasons:Other Physical Conditions and Diseases:Medications:
Loud noise
Age-related hearing loss
Earwax blockage
Ear bone changes
Head or neck injuries or tumors
Eustachian tube dysfunction
Muscle spasms in the inner ear
Meniere’s disease
Problems with the temporomandibular joint
Acoustic neuroma
Vascular pathologies (atherosclerosis, post-stroke condition, etc.)
High or low blood pressure
Osteochondrosis
Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
Antibiotics (polymyxin B, erythromycin, vancomycin neomycin)
Chemotherapy agents (methotrexate, cisplatin, carboplatin)
Diuretics (bumetanide, ethacrynic acid, furosemide)
Quinine
Aspirin (at high doses like 8 to 12 tablets a day)
Antidepressants (fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, citalopram hydrobromide, fluvoxamine)

The video below demonstrates the mechanism of tinnitus caused by a very intense noise. Due to the failed connection between the hair cells and the auditory nerve, the nerve fiber does not receive normal stimulation, hence, it starts to self-stimulate, sending signals to the brain which are perceived as whistling noise.

Current Approaches to Manage Tinnitus

Currently, there is no approved way to fully cure the perception of tinnitus in most cases. It is only possible to lessen the severity of the disease and its annoyance. 

Measures that improve sleep and reduce stress, and decrease caffeine and alcohol consumption help to reduce problems associated with tinnitus, such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

The following treatment strategies may help people manage their condition:

Medications and Dietary Supplements

No medications have been invented so far that can cure tinnitus. However, antidepressants, in combination with conservative management, can be beneficial to ameliorate tinnitus symptoms by improving sleep and minimizing the emotional response (annoyance/aggravation).

Antidepressants and medications that have been studied and approved for relieving tinnitus-related anxiety symptoms include:

  • Valium or anti-depressants such as Elavil. It helps reduce anxiety related to tinnitus.
  • Alprazolam. Along with a steroid placed into the middle ear, it alleviates tinnitus symptoms for some people.
  • Lorazepam. One more benzodiazepine for reducing anxiety and improving signs of the condition.
  • Lidocaine. When used intravenously, it relieves tinnitus.

However, some researchers propose that the use of antidepressants and antianxiety medications may lead to decreased neural plasticity, making it difficult for the patients to naturally habituate to tinnitus over time. 

There are some indications that Vitamin B12, Zinc, and Magnesium may also provide some tinnitus relief.

Mindfulness Techniques

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments in reducing the distress caused by tinnitus and increasing the patient’s quality of life. Relaxation techniques and exercises as a part of CBT may also be helpful in relieving stress and decreasing anxiety, which can exacerbate the perceived intensity of tinnitus.

Mindfulness practices, such as relaxation and meditation, help to decrease tinnitus intensity.
Mindfulness practices, such as relaxation and meditation, help to decrease tinnitus intensity.

Sound Amplification

Some patients find relief by using hearing aids, specialized tinnitus maskers, and white-noise generators. They can mask the phantom sound by amplifying ambient noise or generating background noise.

There are also some experimental therapies, such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), that use electric signals to mitigate the activity of brain cells, which generate phantom noise.

How Can Stem Cells Treat Hearing Loss and Tinnitus?

Recent developments in stem cell technology have offered new opportunities to treat deafness. In tinnitus stem cell trials, researchers used human stem cells to restore damaged hair cells and repair damage to the auditory nerve in deaf animals, restoring their hearing.

Based on this and other stem cell research tinnitus studies, a methodology was developed for implementation in clinical practice.

The current method of stem cell application for tinnitus is intravenous delivery and postotic injection (local introduction in the area behind the ear) of adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These cells are derived from different sources which include: 

  • bone marrow
  • adipose tissue
  • placenta
  • umbilical cord

Stem cells are widely used and studied for the treatment of orthopedic, autoimmune, neurological, and cardiac diseases, due to their healing, immunomodulatory, and regenerative potential.

Mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to differentiate into neural cell types which makes them an excellent candidate for stem cell tinnitus. Studies have shown that systemically injected MSCs preferentially migrated to the cochlea and improved recovery by structural reorganization and repairing of the hair cells and spiral ganglion cells to improve auditory function. 

MSCs work by producing several bioactive factors (cytokines, chemokines, growth factors) that are involved in key biologic processes, such as tissue regeneration, wound healing, angiogenesis, modulation of the immune system, and others.

In the therapy, mesenchymal stem cells can be administered intravenously or locally, or both ways.

Stem Cell Therapy Procedure for Tinnitus

At Swiss Medica, we use both autologous (patient’s own) MSCs or donor cells (derived from the placenta and/or umbilical cord) for treating tinnitus. Stem cell therapy for tinnitus is conducted intravenously through an IV drip.

In the case of autologous cells, the patient biomaterial is collected under local anesthesia and then processed to obtain MSCs with optimal treatment properties. After cells are cultivated to the required amount, they are injected locally for a targeted impact on the problem area. 

To ensure the best stem cell tinnitus treatment results, patients may be offered additional therapies, such as:

  • Transcranial brain stimulation (MDM)
  • Intracellular metabolism recovery (IMR) therapy
  • Xenon gas therapy
  • Electromyostimulation
  • Interval hypoxia-hyperoxia therapy (IHHT)
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)
  • Other optional therapies

The treatment program is customized considering each patient’s needs and health conditions. Our comprehensive personalized treatment also includes consultations with specialists in neurology, neurorehabilitation, psychology, and nutrition, if required.

Types of Stem Cell Injections for Tinnitus

Preparation for inner ear injection for stem cell tinnitus treatment.

Most recent studies use the strategies of stem cell tinnitus treatment to heal the damaged hair cells within the cochlea that detect and respond to sound. The only way to regrow these hair cells is by using stem cells’ differentiation ability.

Stem cells are injected into the damaged area by any of the following methods:

IV-infusion

Stem cells are injected directly into the patient’s bloodstream with the help of an IV drip.

Local stem cell injections

In this method, stem cells are injected into the tissue at a selected targeted area around the ears.

Inner ear injections

Depending upon the requirement of the treatment, a stem cell injection is administered into the inner or middle ear.

Contact us

Get a free online consultation to learn about available treatment options for your case.

Dr. Aleksandra Fetyukhina
Dr. Aleksandra Fetyukhina, MD

Medical Advisor, Swiss Medica doctor


Potential Side Effects and Contraindications of Stem Cell Treatment

Tinnitus stem cell cure is usually well-tolerated by most patients, with rare local side effects from the cell harvesting or injection procedure. Only 5% of the patients experienced short-term fever post treatment but they made a spontaneous recovery.

There are certain contraindications to stem cell therapy, which include:

  1. Cancer.
  2. Life-threatening or terminal health conditions.
  3. Systematic or uncontrolled infection.
  4. Previous unsuccessful experience with cell products or gene therapy.
  5. Infectious disease in the acute stage.
  6. Some laboratory abnormalities in blood tests.
  7. Breastfeeding.
  8. Psychiatric factors, such as schizophrenia, depression, addiction, hysteria, etc., may affect the ability to adhere to the treatment and follow-up.

What Are the Expected Results of Stem Cell Therapy for Tinnitus?

Stem cells harness regenerative abilities to heal almost any damage to the organ or hair cells in this case. Since each case is unique, the outcomes of the therapy might vary from patient to patient. 

There are many health factors that can alter the outcome of your stem cells and tinnitus treatment, for instance:

  • Current health status
  • Medical history
  • The severity of the disorder
  • Age

The neuroprotective, immunomodulating, and overall health-promoting properties of stem cell therapy can help improve the quality of life for patients with tinnitus by:

  • decreasing the bothersome sound;
  • improving normal hearing;
  • relieving stress and frustration;
  • decreasing anxiety and depression;
  • providing overall health improvement and psychological relief.
It is important to note that despite the above-listed treatment properties, stem cells are not a guaranteed cure. The treatment efficacy may vary due to such factors as the patient’s age, the cause of tinnitus, the severity of the disease, the absence of comorbidities, lifestyle, including nutrition, the availability of support of additional therapies, etc. Integrated treatment (diet, supplements, concomitant procedures) is recommended for optimal results.

When Can a Patient Expect to See Improvement?

Tinnitus stem cell trials indicate that it takes about 1–3 months for the full effect to manifest after stem cell tinnitus treatment. Initial signs of improvement may be observed even 1 week after treatment. One may usually draw a conclusion regarding the effectiveness of the therapy six months following treatment.

Patient Outcomes and Testimonials of Tinnitus Treatment with Stem Cells

Patient: Aleksander from Serbia, 36 years old.

Diagnosis: Tinnitus of the left ear caused by audio trauma.

Duration: 6 months.

Treatment: Stem cell infusions, neurogenesis-induced therapy, and additional nutrient support.

Treatment results:

  • Alleviation of tinnitus
  • No side effects

“I was diagnosed 6 months ago with tinnitus, which was caused by audio trauma or loud noise on the lateral of my left ear and yeah, after research, I decided to come and to try stem cells in order to alleviate or to solve this problem. Swiss Medica is really focusing on trying to get you better, not just to sell you stem cells, which is a great advantage when you compare it with other stem cell clinics. Staff was great, very professional, with a lot of experience and I felt that every day they were actually trying to solve my problem, not just to give me stem cells and send me home. Yeah, I would definitely recommend stem cells. So, it’s not just stem cells, you’re getting some other nutrients, amino acids, some special medications for inducing neurogenesis and fixing the neurological problem, which tinnitus is.”

How to Enter the Treatment Program?

At Swiss Medica, we aim to provide the most holistic care to target the condition beyond stem cell infusions. Our therapies are adapted to the patient’s requirements, objectives, and medical condition.

To enter the stem cell tinnitus program, contact our facility via phone or email. Our free consultation services will answer all your queries regarding the expectations from the treatment, cost, and duration. 

Our personalized treatment program involves:

  1. Preliminary consultation with the specialists, where the patient and doctor may discuss the treatment program and decide on the specifics of the course of action.
  2. Appropriate testing to confirm the patient’s full medical history including previous treatment history.
  3. Evaluation of the patient`s physiology including the state and severity of the disease.
  4. A complete treatment information pack that includes details like the type of therapy, mode of injection, and amount of stem cells to be injected.
  5. Inpatient treatment at the Clinic according to the individually tailored treatment plan, along with all meals and facilities provided.
  6. Other supportive therapies or treatments, to ensure that the recovery is as optimal as possible.
  7. Follow-up after the discharge, so the patient stays in touch with specialists of the Clinic.

Get a free online consultation

Ask our medical advisor if cell-based therapy will benefit you, what the expected results are, and what the treatment may include.

Dr. Aleksandra Fetyukhina
Dr. Aleksandra Fetyukhina, MD

Medical Advisor, Swiss Medica doctor


Riferimenti bibliografici:

  1. Mahmoudian-Sani MR et al. Comparison of Three Types of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (Bone Marrow, Adipose Tissue, and Umbilical Cord-Derived) as Potential Sources for Inner Ear Regeneration. Int Tinnitus J. 2017 Dec 1;21(2):122-127.

  2. Specialized educational website “Journey into the World of Hearing”.

  3. Folmer RL, Martin WH, Shi Y. Tinnitus: questions to reveal the cause, answers to provide relief. J Fam Pract. 2004;53(7):532–40.

  4. Martinez-Devesa P et al. Cognitive behavioural therapy for tinnitus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Sep 8;(9):CD005233.

  5. Megwalu UC, Finnell JE, Piccirillo JF. The effects of melatonin on tinnitus and sleep. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006;134(2):210–3.

  6. Robinson S. Antidepressants for treatment of tinnitus. Prog Brain Res. 2007;166:263–71.

  7. Fornaro M, Martino M. Tinnitus psychopharmacology: a comprehensive review of its pathomechanisms and management. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2010;6:209–18.

  8. Yuan T et al. Transcranial direct current stimulation for the treatment of tinnitus: a review of clinical trials and mechanisms of action. BMC Neurosci. 2018; 19: 66.

  9. Schoisswohl S et al. RTMS parameters in tinnitus trials: a systematic review. Sci Rep. 2019; 9: 12190.

  10. Takayuki Okano and Matthew W. Kelley. Stem Cell Therapy for the Inner Ear. Trends Amplif. 2012 Mar; 16(1): 4–18.

  11. Nancarrow-Lei R et al. A Systemic Review of Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cell Sources and their Multilineage Differentiation Potential Relevant to Musculoskeletal Tissue Repair and Regeneration. Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2017;12(8):601-610.

  12. Vu Q, Xie K, Eckert M, Zhao W, Cramer SC. Meta-analysis of preclinical studies of mesenchymal stromal cells for ischemic stroke. Neurology. 2014; 82:1277–1286.

  13. Laroni A et al. Mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of neurological diseases: Immunoregulation beyond neuroprotection. Immunol Lett. 2015 Dec;168(2):183-90.

  14. van Velthoven CT, Kavelaars A, Heijnen CJ. Mesenchymal stem cells as a treatment for neonatal ischemic brain damage. Pediatr Res 2012; 71:474–81.

  15. Chen J, Li Y, Wang L et al. Therapeutic benefit of intravenous administration of bone marrow stromal cells after cerebral ischemia in rats. Stroke 2001; 32: 1005–11.

  16. Payne NL et al. Distinct immunomodulatory and migratory mechanisms underpin the therapeutic potential of human mesenchymal stem cells in autoimmune demyelination. Cell Transplant. 2013;22(8):1409-25.

  17. Chen L et al. Paracrine Factors of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Recruit Macrophages and Endothelial Lineage Cells and Enhance Wound Healing. PLoS One. 2008; 3(4): e1886.

  18. Kyurkchiev D et al. Secretion of immunoregulatory cytokines by mesenchymal stem cells. World J Stem Cells. 2014 Nov 26;6(5): 552–570.

  19. Limb, Charles J. When inner ear stem cell therapy becomes a reality. Trends in Amplification 16.1 (2012): 3-3.

  20. Folmer, R.L., Theodoroff, S.M., Martin, W.H., Shi, Y. (2014) Experimental, Controversial and Futuristic Treatments for Chronic Tinnitus. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 25:106-125.

  21. Kondo T, Matsuoka AJ, Shimomura A, Koehler KR, Chan RJ, Miller JM, et al. Wnt signaling promotes neuronal differentiation from mesenchymal stem cells through activation of Tlx3. Stem cells. 2011;29(5):836-46.

  22. Cho YB, Cho HH, Jang S, Jeong HS, Park JS. Transplantation of neural differentiated human mesenchymal stem cells into the cochlea of an auditory-neuropathy guinea pig model. J Korean Med Sci. 2011;26(4):492-8.

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Medical Advisor, Swiss Medica doctor

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