Benzodiazepine receptor deficiency and tinnitus

A. Shulman, A. M. Strashun, J. P. Seibyl, A. Daftary, B. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


As regards the symptom of a predominantly central tinnitus of the severe, disabling type, it has been hypothesized that a deficiency in the benzodiazepine receptor exists in the medial temporal lobe system of brain and is directly related to affect impairments including anxiety, stress, depression, and fear. This hypothesis has been investigated with single-photon emission computed tomography using the benzodiazepine radioligand 123I Iomazenil. Visual analysis revealed preliminary results of diminished benzodiazepine-binding sites in the medial temporal cortex of all patients with severe tinnitus (N = 6), a finding that is consistent with the hypothesis implicating GABAergic mechanisms in the pathophysiology of the disorder. An abnormal γ-aminobutyric acid-A benzodiazepine receptor density may be an objective neurochemical measure of the severity of a central-type tinnitus and a rationale for treatment. Clinical correlation with the history, clinical course of the patient, and stress questionnaire are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-111
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Tinnitus Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • I Iomazenil
  • Affect
  • Benzodiazepine receptor
  • Final common pathway
  • Medial temporal lobe system
  • Sensory
  • SPECT imaging of brain
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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