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Clinical Trials

Clinical and Outcomes Research under the direction of the Department of Dermatology is conducted both at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago dermatology clinics.

For more information about the research or participation, please call our office at 312-695-6829.

Feinberg Clinical Trials

Scientists at the medical school are conducting hundreds of clinical trials daily. Learn more about all our work via the Feinberg Office of Research Clinical Trials page. Search for trials by disease or condition.

Trials
Functional MRI Study of Transcranial Electrical Stimulation in Chronic Tinnitus

Why is this study being done?

Many people hear a ringing or buzzing in their ears, called tinnitus. This study uses brain scans (MRI) to understand how painless electrical currents applied to the head, a method c…

Why is this study being done?

Many people hear a ringing or buzzing in their ears, called tinnitus. This study uses brain scans (MRI) to understand how painless electrical currents applied to the head, a method called "transcranial electrical stimulation," might change the way the brain works to relieve tinnitus.​​What's involved in this study?

This study involves one 5-hour visit to Northwestern's Chicago Streeterville campus. You may also have 5 more visits, which will take one hour (or less). Whether you have 1 or 6 visits will depend on your availability, staff availability, and other factors like our funding.

During the first visit, you'll answer questionnaires about your health history, take a brief hearing test, and have an MRI. During the MRI, you will have active and inactive tES.

If you have 5 more visits, you'll have tES applied to your head for 20 minutes during the first visit and on the next 4 consecutive days. You may have active tES during all 5 visits, or inactive "sham" tES during all 5 visits. At the last visit, you'll have a short MRI. Two weeks later, we'll tell you whether you had active or inactive tES. If you had inactive tES, you can come back in for five sessions of active tES, if you'd like.

In past studies, about half of people noticed that tinnitus was less intrusive right after tES, but these effects did not seem to last long term. Your tinnitus symptoms may or may not decrease during this study. *Note that we are unable to compensate volunteers for travel expenses, and we are not encouraging volunteers outside the Chicago area to participate in this study.​

Who can participate in this study?

If you have had tinnitus for 1 year or longer, and have spoken with a physician or audiologist about your symptoms, you may be eligible to volunteer for our study. Other criteria include:

  • 18-75 years old
  • Able to have an MRI scan
  • No history of other major health issues (cancer, substance abuse, head injury, neurological, neuropsychiatric, or severe mood disorder)
  • Available to attend 1 study visit at the Northwestern University Chicago Campus

What does tES feel like?

People describe tES as a light tingling or itching on their skin that is not painful. For most people, this feeling decreases or goes away after ~30 seconds, and some don’t feel tES at all. Remember that we can stop tES right away if you decide to stop for any reason. tES uses sponges covered in gel to prevent irritation, which can be removed with water.

I'd like to volunteer for this study. What's next?

If you're interested in volunteering for this study, please contact the study team via email or phone to schedule prescreening. During prescreening, we will review questions about your health history over phone or secure website to determine whether you’re eligible for this study. We will also talk more about the study, and answer your questions.

Contact us

inmri at northwestern dot edu

(312) 694 2966

  • 18-75 years old
  • Able to have an MRI scan
  • No history of other major health issues (cancer, substance abuse, head injury, neurological, neuropsychiatric, or severe mood disorder)
  • Available to attend 1 study visit at the Northwestern University Chicago Campus
Leaver, Amber MichelleLeaver, Amber Michelle
  • Map it 710 N. Fairbanks Ct. Olson Paivlion
    Chicago, IL
NCT03544359 STU00207056
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