Giant leap made in understanding misophonia

Feb 10, 2017 | Blog

There’s a range of hearing disorders that make even common sounds excruciatingly painful and distracting for people who suffer from them—conditions like hyperacusis, tinnitus, and misophonia. While many people have never heard of these conditions, they’re surprisingly common. Misophonia, for example, is a disorder marked by “a hatred of sounds such as eating, chewing or repeated pen clicking.”  It’s not well understood, but the known universe just got a lot bigger thanks to a team of researchers from Newcastle University who have evidence that enraging noises are caused by a brain connection overdrive.

The lead researcher, Dr Sukhbinder Kumar of the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University and the Wellcome Centre for NeuroImaging at University College London, said that, “[f]or many people with misophonia, this will come as welcome news as for the first time we have demonstrated a difference in brain structure and function in sufferers.”   With this news suffers may see the end of one problem they often face; namely, the casual dismissal of their complaints by medical professionals.  As Dr. Kumar notes, “[t]his study demonstrates the critical brain changes as further evidence to convince a sceptical medical community that this is a genuine disorder.

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