This blog is a case report of a patient who experienced dramatic improvement in her tinnitus after exosome injection.
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Exosomes 36: Tinnitus

General Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only. It is not an advertisement for exosomes. The clinical use of exosomes has not been FDA-approved for prevention nor treatment of any disease condition and may carry unknown risks. Anecdotes provided do not constitute scientific proof and all patients were treated in the context of a fully informed consent and legally protected patient-physician relationship.

EXOSOMES 36: Tinnitus

This blog is a case report of a patient who experienced dramatic improvement in her tinnitus after exosome injection. I will present the case, explain what tinnitus is, and then speculate as to the reasons why she may have had improvement. 

KH is a 79-yo woman who has had over twenty years of chronic tinnitus characterized by constant, 8 out of 10 sounds like “light rain” seeming to come from both ears. Her medical history had no exposure to loud noises, synchronous viral illnesses, exposure to medications associated with ototoxicity (damage to hearing organs), and the condition came on gradually and has been persistent. She tried some kind of therapy involving neural sound cancellation 17 years ago with minimal improvement only when she was doing the training.

Her medical history is notable for tremendous stress 25 years ago, associated with her son’s motor vehicle accident that resulted in a 3-yr convalescence and severe burns, paraplegia, and bilateral below-the-knee amputations for him. She began a new career shortly thereafter as well and that is when her familial history or benign essential tremor (a 50% inherited condition) kicked it.  A few years after that, she had the onset of tinnitus. Her review of other systems is notable for poor balance owing to unstable knees from what she believes is age-related arthritis. 

On March 19th, 2020, she had 3B IV MSC exosomes and 1B into each nostril. There was some spillage of the right side during the procedure. Over the course of two weeks, the tinnitus gradually resolved completely on the left and diminished to a 4 out of 10 on the right. Her hearing was always normal and it remains so after this recent change. Of note, her knee pain has improved remarkably as she discusses in the second half of the roughly 3 minute call. Please click below to listen to the call (N.B. I edited the call for brevity but we discussed other topics such as confounding and her husbands conditions).


What is tinnitus?

Generally speaking, tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease. There are objective sounds caused by things like turbulent blood flow but generally people refer to tinnitus as subjective experienced phantom sounds that have no corresponding sounds that others can hear.

I would venture to guess that 100% of us have experienced tinnitus. For me it is a few seconds of a high pitched tone. People who have had damage to any of the structures of the ear, including the hairy cells of the cochlea, the auditory nerves, and the auditory cortex of the brain are predisposed to suffering chronic tinnitus and estimates range from 10-20% of all people in the USA suffer from this condition in some chronic form.

Damage to the ear and nerves are common from noise exposure, medications such as NSAIDS, antibiotics, antimalarials, diuretics, and chemotherapy. That said, many of the cases are “idiopathic” or age-related. It seems that a great number of cases have no likely cause and so “brain aging” may contribute. In this patient’s case, if we understood the biochemistry of that degeneration in the brain, we might have a clue but to my knowledge, there is no association with essential tremor and tinnitus. It is more likely that since so many people without tremor have tinnitus, they occur together by chance and the two do not appear commonly associated.

In KH’s case, I believe that extreme life stress may have contributed to neural damage. People who treat tinnitus note that extreme stress can exacerbate symptoms and so much of the therapies aim to reduce stress and mitigate the perceptions.

Absent any temporary and reversible causes, it appears that the usual course of tinnitus is that it is incurable. KH did try the “noise cancellation” treatments but it provided no permanent relief.

So if we speculate as to why the patient’s symptoms are reportedly better, we come with a short list of speculations:

  1. Placebo effect. Always in play and not to be underestimated.
  2. Changes in the structures of the inner ear and auditory nerves
  3. Decreased inflammatory milieu, especially in the brain
  4. Regeneration, repair, or reprogramming of the neurons and/or supporting and myelinating cells of the auditory cortex.

If I had to guess, I would say the last one is the most likely. Since during the procedure, some of the 1B on the right nostril was not effectively injected submucosally (it spilled into the nasopharynx), there may have been an insufficient dose delivery although for most people, going from 8 to 4 out of 10 would be a welcome improvement. I look forward to retreating her on the right to see if we can somehow improve that as well. If she indeed does have her symptom resolve, it would be great. 

Of course, I cannot say whether her symptoms will remain gone but I can say that the same resistance to improvement in the brain is also inertia to reverting back to the old condition. For example, my voluntary piloerection still persists over a year since it first appeared after nasal injection and Antonia’s nerve pain remains gone.

It should be emphasized that this is only an interesting case and does not represent a recommendation for a medical treatment that has not been proven safe or effective. Also, this therapy is NOT FDA approved to treat tinnitus, which is generally regarded as an incurable condition in chronic, idiopathic cases.

Although we were hoping to help her tremors, it seems that only her tinnitus and knee pain improved instead. If you listened to her testimonial above, I think she would say that two of three isn’t bad and that at the age 79, she is now believing that not all conditions, contrary to the dogma of my profession, are irreversibly incurable after all.

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7 thoughts on “Exosomes 36: Tinnitus”

  1. Terry Oldberg

    My 78 year old wife has age-related hearing loss but not tinnitus. I wonder if this treatment would work for her.

  2. Another great exosomes blog! My mom has been reading a few of your exosomes blogs recently and I’m hoping she will consider receiving treatment soon for her shoulder.

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