jueves, 19 de septiembre de 2013

The symptom of Misophonia

 The symptom of Misophonia is an extreme dislike of certain sounds. 
Misophonia is a little known disease; few physicians have ever heard the name much less know anything about it. 

People with misophonia are often subjected to incorrect diagnosis (and may become treated for diseases they do not have). 
There is no known treatment that is beneficial. 

Little is known about the cause of misophonia, why some people get it (or have it from birth?) and it is not known what has gone wrong in their body. 

This means that many people are suffering from the disease without relief through treatment and many do not even know that it is a disease and some may think they are crazy. 

I do believe, however, that the symptoms are not caused by anything being wrong in the ear but that the problem is in the brain, it is in fact certain that it is not related to the ear. 

It seems to me as a neuroscientist that it is caused by an incorrect wiring somewhere high up in the brain where sounds are interpreted. 

We all have models (or maps) of sounds that we heard and we identify many sounds because they fit one or more of these models.

People with misophonia may have an unfortunate model (or map) stuck in their brain. 

Misophonia has been regarded to occur together with tinnitus (ringing in the ears) in the same way as for example hyperacusis (lowered tolerance for sounds), but that is not at all certain. 

There is also a difference between hyperacusis and misophonia in that hyperacusis involves all or at least least most sounds, whereas misophonia only concerns very special sounds – mostly sounds that are produced when people eat.

Sometimes knowing that symptoms such as misophonia are real and signs of a certain disease such as misophonia is beneficial because it prove that the person has a real disease and not crazy.

There are other little known symptoms that have been associated with tinnitus such as phonophobia and the “exploding head” syndrome 

(Møller, A.R. Misophonia, phonophobia and the “exploding head” syndrome. In: Møller, A.R., Langguth, B., De Ridder, D. and Kleinjung, T. (Eds.) Textbook of Tinnitus, Springer, New York, Chapter 4, pp. 25-27, 2010).

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