A condition that causes a person’s ears to ring nonstop and a condition characterized by pain that won’t go away may seem worlds apart on the surface, but they may not be so different after all, the authors of a new review said.

In the review, the authors proposed that tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, and chronic pain are the result of similar changes in two regions of the brain.

These regions — the nucleus accumbens and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex — are both in the front of the brain, and may act as “gatekeepers” for sensory stimuli such as noise and pain, the researchers said.

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This article originally appeared on Clinical Pain Advisor

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