As someone who suffers from tinnitus, the following question held particular relevance: can vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) retrain the brain to ignore the nerve signals that simulate ringing?
A new grant resulting from the partnership between the National Institutes of Health and the Small Business Innovation Research program may help find the answer. A portion of the grant will go to a biomedical start-up company called MicroTransponder, which is trying to come up with a less-invasive method of delivering the electrical charge that stimulates the vagus nerve.
The other portion of the grant goes to researchers at UT Dallas. The team there wants to create a remotely controlled device similar to technology used for toll tags on highways.