Recently, new lab data shows that misophonia, or the hatred directed towards repeating sounds such as breathing, chewing, or blinking, is a real condition and that more and more people are being diagnosed with it. Officially recognized as a mental disorder in 2001, there is little data to no data on how this disease is triggered.
However, a new study from the Newcastle University in the United Kingdom might shed some light on why some people go bonkers when they hear sounds like chewing, blinking, or breathing. More specifically, patients diagnosed with misophonia get uncomfortable when they hear these types of sounds. The types of reactions manifested by misophonia patients can be various – most patients have fight or flight reaction, while others might experience increased blood pressure.
The truth is that we know so little about misophonia that, in some cases, it’s difficult to devise an efficient treatment. However, the new study performed by a team of scientists from the Newcastle University might offer valuable clues regarding the origins of the disease.
Dr. Jason Leyendecker of the Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Clinic declared that the origin of the condition had been tracked down to an abnormal area situated in the frontal lobe. Leyendecker, who’s studying misophonia for some time now, declared that due to an abnormal connection in that specific area, the brain of the individuals diagnosed with misophonia simply goes into overdrive each time they hear specific sounds like chewing, breathing, swallowing, and even blinking.
The medical researcher confirmed that he has a patient who declared that it’s hard for him to stay in the same room with his fiancée because he gets irked by the sound her eyelids make every time she’s blinking.
Various MRI scans performed on misophonia patients confirms this hypothesis – their brain scan show increased activity in the frontal lobe and other areas of the brain when exposed to certain sound. The researchers who performed the MRI scans exposed the patients to various sounds such as a baby crying, rain, water boiling, and a person screaming. However, nothing brought forward a more violent response than chewing, breathing, swallowing, and blinking sounds.
Now that they know the origin of the condition, the researchers can devise efficient treatments. Leyendecker declared that hearing aid with a white noise cancellation feature might help patients filter out some of these noises during a conversation. Management-type therapies are also being developed.
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