Tinnitus is a common disorder with a considerable amount of distress that affects the patient`s daily life. No objective tools were approved for measuring tinnitus distress. It can be estimated only by subjective scales and questionnaires, albeit, the Electroencephalography (EEG) studies have reported some alterations regarding tinnitus distress network. This study aimed to investigate the correlation between Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) and the recorded EEG data.
A total of 33 chronic tinnitus cases (9 females) with the mean age of 42.67 years were recruited. Their THI scores were collected, and a 3-minute EEG recorded with eye closed at resting-state. The correlation analysis was performed on THI scores and the current density in the selected Region of Interests (ROIs) concerning the distress network for the eight frequency bands. The patients grouped depending on the THI cutoff point of 56 into low and high THI groups, and then the groups were compared for source analysis and functional connectivity between ROIs using standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography.
A significant positive correlation was seen between THI scores and the electrical activity in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC), the prefrontal cortex, and the parahippocampus for an alpha band (P<0.05) and in the ACC for beta (P<0.01). Source analysis showed significant differences with increased activity in the high THI group for alpha, beta and gamma bands. Functional connectivity was also elevated in the high THI group between the ROIs in alpha and beta bands.
THI can be a useful tool for measuring tinnitus distress, and it has a high correlation with EEG data.