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Theta Burst Stimulation in the Treatment of Incapacitating Tinnitus Accompanied by Severe Depression

  • Surjo R. Soekadar, Carola Arfeller, Albrecht Rilk, Stefan K. Plontke and Christian Plewnia...


This case report describes the use of transcranial magnetic theta burst stimulation (TBS) in the treatment of incapacitating tinnitus accompanied by symptoms of severe depression. Tinnitus is known to be associated with hyperactivity and maladaptive cortical reorganization of the central auditory system. Combined with anxiety and depression, it can occasionally constitute a psychiatric emergency. Recently, it has been demonstrated that tinnitus can be temporarily suppressed by non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation. TBS is a newly developed technique for rapid and lasting modulation of cortical excitability. Herein, we present a case of a 54-year-old woman with incapacitating tinnitus that has significantly decreased after three cycles of 1-week treatment with continuous TBS to the temporo-parietal auditory association cortex. According to the Tinnitus Questionnaire, tinnitus intensity decreased from 84 points before to 59 points after treatment. Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression score dropped from 44 to 23 points. TBS showed to be efficient, well-tolerated, and practical in the management of distressing tinnitus accompanied by symptoms of severe depression.


Corresponding author

Please direct all correspondence to: Christian Plewnia, MD, University of Tuebingen, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Osianderstr. 24, D-72076 Tuebingen, Germany; E-mail:


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Theta Burst Stimulation in the Treatment of Incapacitating Tinnitus Accompanied by Severe Depression

  • Surjo R. Soekadar, Carola Arfeller, Albrecht Rilk, Stefan K. Plontke and Christian Plewnia...


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