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Misophonia: current perspectives

Authors Cavanna AE, Seri S

Received 31 May 2015

Accepted for publication 15 July 2015

Published 18 August 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 2117—2123


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Andrea E Cavanna,1–3 Stefano Seri3,4

1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and University of Birmingham, Birmingham, 2Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, 3School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston Brain Centre, Wellcome Trust Laboratory for MEG Studies, Aston University, 4Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Programme, The Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

Abstract: Misophonia is characterized by a negative reaction to a sound with a specific pattern and meaning to a given individual. In this paper, we review the clinical features of this relatively common yet underinvestigated condition, with focus on co-occurring neurodevelopmental disorders. Currently available data on the putative pathophysiology of the condition can inform our understanding and guide the diagnostic process and treatment approach. Tinnitus retraining therapy and cognitive behavior therapy have been proposed as the most effective treatment strategies for reducing symptoms; however, current treatment algorithms should be validated in large population studies. At the present stage, competing paradigms see misophonia as a physiological state potentially inducible in any subject, an idiopathic condition (which can present with comorbid psychiatric disorders), or a symptomatic manifestation of an underlying psychiatric disorder. Agreement on the use of standardized diagnostic criteria would be an important step forward in terms of both clinical practice and scientific inquiry. Areas for future research include phenomenology, epidemiology, modulating factors, neurophysiological underpinnings, and treatment trials.

Keywords: misophonia, selective sound sensitivity syndrome, hyperacusis, neurodevelopmental disorders, Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive spectrum

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