Alterations of brain activity and functional connectivity in transition from acute to chronic tinnitus.
The objective of this study was to investigate alterations to brain activity and functional connectivity in patients with tinnitus, exploring neural features in the transition from acute to chronic phantom perception. Twenty-four patients with acute tinnitus, 23 patients with chronic tinnitus, and 32 healthy controls were recruited. High-density electroencephalography (EEG) was used to explore changes in brain areas and functional connectivity in different groups. When compared with healthy subjects, acute tinnitus patients had a significant reduction in superior frontal cortex activity across all frequency bands, whereas chronic tinnitus patients had a significant reduction in the superior frontal cortex at beta 3 and gamma frequency bands as well as a significant increase in the inferior frontal cortex at delta-band and superior temporal cortex at alpha 1 frequency band. When compared to the chronic tinnitus group, the acute tinnitus group activity was significantly increased in the middle frontal and parietal gyrus at the gamma-band. Functional connectivity analysis showed that the chronic tinnitus group had increased connections between the parahippocampus gyrus, posterior cingulate cortex, and precuneus when compared with the healthy group. Alterations of local brain activity and connections between the parahippocampus gyrus and other nonauditory areas appeared in the transition from acute to chronic tinnitus. This indicates that the appearance and development of tinnitus is a dynamic process involving aberrant local neural activity and abnormal connectivity in multifunctional brain networks.
Hum Brain Mapp. 2021 Feb 1;42(2):485-494. doi: 10.1002/hbm.25238. Epub 2020 Oct 13. PMID: 33090584; PMCID: PMC7776005.