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Professor Brendan Conlon

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Conlon B, Langguth B, Hamilton C, Hughes S, Meade E, Connor CO, Schecklmann M, Hall DA, Vanneste S, Leong SL, Subramaniam T, D'Arcy S, Lim HH., Bimodal neuromodulation combining sound and tongue stimulation reduces tinnitus symptoms in a large randomized clinical study, Science translational medicine., 12, (564), 2020, p1 - 15 Journal Article, 2020

Conlon B, Hamilton C, Meade E, Leong SL, O Connor C, Langguth B, Vanneste S, Hall DA, Hughes S, Lim HH., Different bimodal neuromodulation settings reduce tinnitus symptoms in a large randomized trial, Brain, 2021 Journal Article, 2021

Hamilton C, D'Arcy S, Pearlmutter BA, Crispino G, Lalor EC, Conlon BJ, An Investigation of Feasibility and Safety of Bi-Modal Stimulation for the Treatment of Tinnitus: An Open-Label Pilot Study, Neuromodulation, 19, (8), 2016, p832 - 837 Journal Article, 2016

Conlon BJ, Aran JM, Erre JP, Smith DW., Attenuation of aminoglycoside-induced cochlear damage with the metabolic antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid, Hearing Research, 128, (1-2), 1999, p40 - 44 Journal Article, 1999

Conlon BJ, Gibson WP, Electrocochleography in the diagnosis of Meniere's disease, Acta Oto-Laryngologica, 120, (4), 2000, p480 - 483 Journal Article, 2000

Conlon BJ, Gibson WP, Meniere's disease: the incidence of hydrops in the contralateral asymptomatic ear, Laryngoscope, 109, (11), 1999, p1800 - 1802 Journal Article, 1999

Conlon BJ, Perry BP, Smith DW., Attenuation of neomycin ototoxicity by iron chelation., Laryngoscope, 108, (2), 1998, p284 - 287 Journal Article, 1998

Lang B, Hintze J, Conlon B., Coronavirus disease 2019 and sudden sensorineural hearing loss., Jounral of laryngology and Otology, 134, (11), 2020, p1026 - 1028 Journal Article, 2020

Conlon B, Hamilton C, Hughes S, Meade E, Hall DA, Vanneste S, Langguth B, Lim HH., Noninvasive Bimodal Neuromodulation for the Treatment of Tinnitus: Protocol for a Second Large-Scale Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial to Optimize Stimulation Parameters, Journal of Medical Internet Research (Research Protocols), 8, (9), 2019, pe13176 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

D'Arcy, S., Hamilton, C., Hughes, S., Hall, D.A., Vanneste, S., Langguth, B., Conlon, B., Bi-modal stimulation in the treatment of tinnitus: A study protocol for an exploratory trial to optimise stimulation parameters and patient subtyping, BMJ Open, 7, (10), 2017 Journal Article, 2017

Stephen Hughes, Ross O'neill, Brendan Conlon, Caroline Hamilton, Shona D'Arcy, 'An apparatus and method for treating a neurological disorder of the auditory system,', TOMKINS & CO; 5 Dartmouth Road, Dublin, 6 (IE)., WO2017085227A1, 2016 Patent, 2016 URL

Oosthuizen JC, McShane D, Kinsella J, Conlon B., General practitioner ENT referral audit, Irish Journal of Medical Science, 184, (1), 2015, p143 - 146 Journal Article, 2015

Timon CV, Toner M, Conlon BJ., Paratracheal lymph node involvement in advanced cancer of the larynx, hypopharynx, and cervical esophagus, Laryngoscope, 113, (9), 2003, p1595 - 1599 Journal Article, 2003

Brendan Conlon, Bimodal Sensory Neuromodulation Treatment for Tinnitus; Evaluated in 326 Patients in a Blinded Randomized Clinical Trial, American Academy of Otolaryngology, Chicago, October 10, 2018, Professor Hubert Lim Invited Talk, 2018

Cashman EC, Conlon B, Unravelling Menieres disease: an approach to diagnosis & management, Irish Journal of Medical Science, 102, (4), 2009, p101 - 102 Journal Article, 2009

Wijaya C, Dias A, Conlon BJ., Superior semicircular canal occlusion-Transmastoid approach., International Journal of Surgery Case Reports, 3, (2), 2012, p42 - 44 Journal Article, 2012

Harney M, Walsh P, Conlon B, Hone S, Timon C., Parotid gland surgery: a retrospective review of 108 cases, Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 116, (4), 2002, p285 - 287 Journal Article, 2002

Conlon BJ, Donnelly MJ, McShane DP., Tonsillitis, tonsillectomy and weight disturbance, International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 42, (1), 1997, p17 - 23 Journal Article, 1997

Thornton M, Rowley H, Conlon BJ, Russell JD., Type I laryngeal cleft: late presentation. J Laryngol Otol., Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 115, (10), 2001, p821 - 822 Journal Article, 2001

Conlon B, Daly N, Temperely I, McShane D, ENT surgery in children with inherited bleeding disorders, Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 110, (10), 1996, p947 - 949 Journal Article, 1996

O'Dwyer TP, Conlon BJ., The surgical management of drooling--a 15 year follow-up, Clinical Otolaryngology, 22, (3), 1997, p284 - 287 Journal Article, 1997

Conlon BJ, Smith DW, Supplemental iron exacerbates aminoglycoside ototoxicity in vivo, Hearing Research, 115, (1-2), 1998, p1 - 5 Journal Article, 1998

Conlon BJ, Donnelly MJ, McShane DP, Improvements in health and behaviour following childhood tonsillectomy: a parental perspective at 1 year, International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 41, (2), 1997, p155 - 161 Journal Article, 1997

Conlon BJ, Smith DW, Topical aminoglycoside ototoxicity: attempting to protect the cochlea, Acta Oto-Laryngologica, 120, (5), 2000, p596 - 599 Journal Article, 2000

Mackle T, Conlon B., Foreign bodies of the nose and ears in children. Should these be managed in the accident and emergency setting?, International Journal of Paediatric Otolaryngology, 70, (3), 2006, p425 - 428 Journal Article, 2006

Thornton MA, Conlon BJ, Timon C., How we did it: neopharyngeal stricture management with the nitinol stent in the laryngectomized patient: our disappointing results, Clinical Otolaryngology, 30, (4), 2005, p369 - 371 Journal Article, 2005

Skinner LJ, Conlon BJ, Russell JD, O'sullivan GC, O'dwyer TP, Detection of bone marrow micrometastases in the rib marrow of head and neck cancer patients: a prospective pilot study., European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, 262, (2), 2005, p103 - 106 Journal Article, 2005

O'Neill JP, Young O, Conlon B., Major otology day case surgery: viable, cost efficient and safe., Irish Journal of Medical Science, 180, (4), 2011, p841 - 844 Journal Article, 2011

Conlon BJ, Walsh M, McShane D, Corcoran N, Moriarty M, Healy JB, Fraser I, O'Dwyer TP, Cancer of the pyriform fossa: hyperfractionated radiotherapy as a primary treatment modality, Clinical Otolaryngology, 22, (4), 1997, p327 - 331 Journal Article, 1997

Skinner LJ, Conlon BJ, Hegarty S, O'Dwyer TP., Ectopic ossification in the parotid gland, Revue de Laryngologie Otologie Rhinologie, 124, (4), 2003, p243 - 245 Journal Article, 2003

Conlon BJ, Curran A, Timon CV., Suppurative complications of infective sinusitis, Irish Journal of Medical Science, 166, (3), 1997, p127 - 129 Journal Article, 1997

Perry BP, McSwain SD, Conlon BJ, Smith DW, A comparison of efferent suppression of compound action potentials by simultaneous and non-simultaneous contralateral noise paradigms., Audiology, 38, (1), 1999, p1 - 6 Journal Article, 1999

Conlon BJ, O'Dwyer T., The G syndrome/Opitz oculo-genital-laryngeal syndrome/Opitz BBB/G syndrome/Opitz-Frias syndrome., Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 109, (3), 1995, p244 - 246 Journal Article, 1995

Conlon BJ, Curran A, Timon CV, Pitfalls in the determination of intracranial spread of complicated suppurative sinusitis, Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 110, (7), 1996, p673 - 675 Journal Article, 1996

Conlon BJ, O'Dwyer TP, Thoraco-cervical fibromatosis: treatment of surgical excision, Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 111, (4), 1997, p385 - 386 Journal Article, 1997

Shine NP, Lacy P, Conlon B, McShane D, Spontaneous retropharyngeal and cervical emphysema: a rare singer's injury, Ear, Nose & Throat Journal, 84, (11), 2005, p726 - 727 Journal Article, 2005

Boyle S, Fitzgerald C, Conlon B, Vijendren A., A national survey of workplace-related musculoskeletal disorder and ergonomic practice amongst Irish otolaryngologists, Irish Journal of Medical Science, 2021 Journal Article, 2021

Subramaniam T, D'Arcy S, O'Neill R, Conlon B, Investigating New Methods in Recruiting Tinnitus Suffers For Clinical Trials, Irish Journal of Medical Science , Irish Otolaryngology Society, Lough Eske, Co Donegal , Oct 2016, 185, (S521-S521), 2016 Poster, 2016

Conlon, BJ, McSwain,SD, Smith DW, Topical gentamicin and ethacrynic acid: effects on cochlear function, Laryngoscope, 108, (7), 1998, p1087 - 1089 Journal Article, 1998


Research Expertise


Current primary area of research involves investigation and development of treatment interventions for tinnitus. Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the absence of an external source of the sound. It is essentially a phantom auditory sensation that is coded in the brain. Subjects suffering from tinnitus commonly complain of a persistent ringing in there ears or head. This condition affects up to 15% of the population with 1% of the population describing their tinnitus as catastrophic. Effective treatment interventions for tinnitus have remained elusive and largely revolve around psychological interventions including cognitive behavior therapy aiming to reduce symptom impact. Over the past 10 years I have clinically lead a research group that has attempted to develop a novel treatment approach for tinnitus treatment. This research has been based around the recent convergence of findings across numerous animal and human studies demonstrating that bimodal neuromodulation can significantly improve tinnitus symptoms and drive neuroplastic changes within the brain. This research has included the development of a bimodal neuromodulation device combining electrical stimulation of the tongue with auditory stimulation of the cochlea. Clinical evaluation of the device is ongoing following an initial pilot trial 2012, and three further clinical trials. We recently published results of our TENT A1 trial (Treatment Evaluation of Neuromodulation for Tinnitus) in the Journal Science Translational Medicine. This paper demonstrated that bimodal neuromodulation can significantly reduce tinnitus symptoms scores in a large population cohort. These effects were maintained one year after completion of treatment, strongly implicating effective neuroplastic changes within the brain. We continue to research variations in stimulation parameters in order to determine optimum stimuli to achieve maximum therapeutic benefit. We are further exploring further the potential applications of this neuromodulatory approach in the management of other neurological conditions. Other areas of research interest include the diagnosis, treatment, management and evaluation of Menieres disease. I also have research interest in causes and prevention of ototoxic deafness.


  • Title
    • Treatment Evaluation of Neuromodulation for Tinnitus (TENT-A) NCT02669069
  • Summary
    • Tinnitus is a phantom auditory perception coded in the brain that can be bothersome or debilitating, affecting 10 to 15% of the population. Currently, there is no clinically recommended drug or device treatment for this major health condition. Animal research has revealed that sound paired with electrical somatosensory stimulation can drive extensive plasticity within the brain for tinnitus treatment. To investigate this bimodal neuromodulation approach in humans, we evaluated a noninvasive device that delivers sound to the ears and electrical stimulation to the tongue in a randomized, double-blinded, exploratory study that enrolled 326 adults with chronic subjective tinnitus. Participants were randomized into three parallel arms with different stimulation settings. Clinical outcomes were evaluated over a 12-week treatment period and a 12-month posttreatment phase. For the primary endpoints, participants achieved a statistically significant reduction in tinnitus symptom severity at the end of treatment based on two commonly used outcome measures, Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (Cohen's d effect size: -0.87 to -0.92 across arms; P < 0.001) and Tinnitus Functional Index (-0.77 to -0.87; P < 0.001). Therapeutic improvements continued for 12 months after treatment for specific bimodal stimulation settings, which had not previously been demonstrated in a large cohort for a tinnitus intervention. The treatment also achieved high compliance and satisfaction rates with no treatment-related serious adverse events. These positive therapeutic and long-term results motivate further clinical trials toward establishing bimodal neuromodulation as a clinically recommended device treatment for tinnitus. Trial undertaken at Clinical Research Facility St James's Hospital.
  • Funding Agency
    • Venture Capital / Private Investment
  • Date From
    • 27/6/2016
  • Date To
    • 31/7/2017
  • Title
    • Treatment Evaluation of Neuromodulation for Tinnitus - Stage A2 (TENT-A2) NCT03530306
  • Summary
    • More than 10% of the population suffers from tinnitus, which is a phantom auditory condition that is coded within the brain. A new neuromodulation approach has emerged that combines sound with electrical stimulation of somatosensory pathways to treat tinnitus, supported by multiple animal studies demonstrating that bimodal stimulation can elicit extensive neural plasticity within the auditory brain. More recently, in a large-scale clinical trial, bimodal sound and tongue stimulation drove significant reductions in tinnitus symptoms during the first 6-weeks followed by a plateau effect during the second 6-weeks of treatment. The objectives of the large-scale randomized and double-blinded study presented in this paper was to further identify which acoustic or tongue stimuli contribute to therapy and whether changing the parameter settings over time could provide additional improvements in symptoms. The primary endpoints involved within-arm and between-arm comparisons for two treatment arms with different bimodal neuromodulation settings based on two widely used and validated outcome instruments, Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and Tinnitus Functional Index. Both treatment arms exhibited a highly statistically significant reduction in symptoms during the first 6-weeks, which was further reduced during the second 6-weeks of treatment by changing the parameter settings (Cohen's d effect size for full treatment period per arm and outcome measure ranged from -0.7 to -1.4). These therapeutic effects were sustained up to 12 months after the treatment ended. There were no significant differences between arms, suggesting that tongue stimulation paired with pure tones and/or with noise stimuli, as well as different inter-stimulus delays, were equivalently effective in treating tinnitus. Two additional arms, including one arm that presented only acoustic stimuli during the first 6-weeks of treatment, further revealed the importance of both the acoustic and tongue components for reducing tinnitus symptoms. Overall, there were no treatment-related serious adverse events and a high compliance rate (83.8%) with 70.3% of participants indicating that they had benefited from the treatment. The discovery that adjusting stimulus components and parameters over time can drive additional therapeutic effects opens up new opportunities for optimizing stimuli and enhancing clinical outcomes for tinnitus patients with bimodal neuromodulation. Trial undertaken at Clinical Research Facility St James's Hospital.
  • Funding Agency
    • Venture Capital / Private Investment
  • Date From
    • 20/03/2018
  • Date To
    • 18/07/2019



Peer review editorial Board offices held The Laryngoscope; Editorial review pannel for Acta Otolaryngologica; International Journal of Audiology External examiner Final Med Exam UCD External Thesis Examiner RCSI

Awards and Honours

Gold Medal. Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2019

Gold Medal Irish Temporal Bone Dissection course 2002

Graham Fraser Fellowship in Otology 1998

Gussi Meghian Memorial Fellowship 2000

Ehicon Foundation Travel Fellowship 1999

Duke University Research Fellowship 1996

Irish Otolaryngology Society 1st Prize Best Presentation 1997


Irish Otolaryngology Society

Institute of Otolaryngology

Association for Research in Otolaryngology

Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland

Royal Society of Medicine