Amarillo, TX - A West Texas A&M professor has made a medical breakthrough that is not only helping patients here but all around the world.
Dr. Leslie Dalton has been researching tinnitus since the 1960s. His decades of work are now gaining global attention and led WTAMU to develop an online clinic so he can treat patients anywhere in the world over skype.
Most tinnitus patients suffer through a loud, painful ringing, but Dalton said he can change that without ever leaving his home. He manipulates and tricks the brain waves of his patients through a computer program, which can ultimately reduce the painful ringing they hear.
"It takes the sound I put in a buggers it up and sends it somewhere where it is not really supposed to go," explained Dalton. "But in the process, it changes the flow of how the ear is working."
There is no cure for tinnitus and Dalton said his brain wave manipulation, while effective, is not permanent. "The brain figures it out that it has been tricked. Then we have to go back and re-trick it. So we have to stay in contact with them, maybe once a month and re-do their algorithm."
Dalton is just one man, so at the moment he is limited to how many people he can help. In April, that could change. The Veteran's Administration is sending Dalton on a trip to Philadelphia to potentially expand his clinic to doctors across the nation. "It's a week-long all expenses paid program to help me write up a business plan and put it in the right format to deliver to operations like the VA, the Department of Defense, the Navy and so on to get them to take it on to where we can start using it as a world-wide clinical network within their system."
Dalton said the VA is interested because many veterans with PTSD also suffer tinnitus.