Objective To determine changes in cortical neural networks as defined by resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging during voluntary modulation of tinnitus with orofacial maneuvers.
Study Design Cross-sectional study.
Setting Academic medical center.
Subjects and Methods Participants were scanned during the maneuver and also at baseline to serve as their own control.
The authors chose, a priori, 58 seed regions to evaluate previously described cortical neural networks by computing temporal correlations between all seed region pairs.
Seed regions whose correlations significantly differed between rest and maneuver (P < .05, uncorrected) entered into a second-stage analysis of computing the correlation coefficient between the seed region and time courses in each of the remaining brain voxels.
A threshold-free cluster enhancement permutation analysis evaluated the distribution of these correlation coefficients after transformation to Fisher z scores and registration to a surface-based reconstruction using Freesurfer.
Results The median age for the 16 subjects was 54 years (range, 27-72 years), and all had subjective, unilateral or bilateral, nonpulsatile tinnitus for 6 months or longer.
In 9 subjects who could voluntarily increase the loudness of their tinnitus, there were no significant differences in functional connectivity in any cortical networks.
A separate analysis evaluated results from 3 patients who decreased the loudness of their tinnitus.
Four subjects were excluded because of excessive motion in the scanner.
Conclusion The absence of significant differences in functional connectivity due to voluntary orofacial maneuvers that increased tinnitus loudness failed to confirm prior reports of altered cerebral blood flows during somatomotor behaviors.
- Jay F. Piccirillo, MD, CPI, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Ave, Campus Box 8115, St Louis, MO 63110, USA Email:
- Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.