, Volume 154, Issue 3, pp 509-515
Date: 25 Nov 2011

Assessment of non-motor hearing symptoms in hemifacial spasm using magnetoencephalography

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Hemifacial spasm patients often suffer from non-motor symptoms such as tinnitus. These non-motor symptoms are known to be associated with changes in cortical activity. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a technique that can record brain activity noninvasively. To determine the usefulness of MEG in assessing changes in cortical activity associated with non-motor hearing symptoms in hemifacial spasm patients.


We used MEG to evaluate the reactivity of the auditory cortex in 26 hemifacial spasm patients. We divided patients into a subjective tinnitus group (n = 10) and a non-tinnitus group (n = 16). The latency and amplitude of the most prominent deflection, N100m, was compared between the two groups.


There was a significant difference in the pure tone audiogram on the spasm side compared with the non-spasm side. After stimulation on the spasm side, the amplitude of the N100m peak in the contralateral hemisphere was lower in the subjective tinnitus group than in the non-tinnitus group.


Our results indicate that MEG can detect differences in cortical activity between hemifacial spasm patients with and without tinnitus. This suggests that MEG can identify changes in cortical activity associated with non-motor symptoms.