ATA Press Releases

ATA Names Cara James As Its New Executive Director
8/15/2013

Summit For Silence: Mt. Hood 2013
5/20/2013

National Tinnitus Awareness Week 2013
4/16/2013

Two ATA Scientific Advisory Committee Members Receive Department of Defense Grant
8/24/2011

 

For Immediate Release                                                              
August 15, 2013

The American Tinnitus Association Names Cara James as its New Executive DirectorCara James

Portland Ore. – The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) announced today that Cara James will be its new Executive Director and lead its mission to find a cure for tinnitus. ATA is the nation’s foremost organization committed to curing tinnitus, commonly referred to as "ringing in the ears".

 “I am both humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead such an important organization," said James. "With tinnitus increasing as a serious health condition in various at-risk populations, like veterans, musicians and even children and teens, there is tremendous potential to help these patients and to grow ATA's services and impact globally. I look forward to working with ATA's Board of Directors, staff and supporters in the coming years to raise awareness of ATA and the ever growing necessity to find a cure," she said.

An estimated 50 million people in the United States have tinnitus. According to data analyzed from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, 16 million suffer from chronic tinnitus and have sought medical attention for their condition. The leading cause of tinnitus is exposure to loud sound which can harm an individual's auditory system and the second leading cause is head or neck trauma. Tinnitus is also the leading service-connected disability for U.S. veterans. 

“Recent advances in tinnitus research, including cellular, molecular and imaging studies have highlighted specific areas of the brain involved in tinnitus generation and perception," said Thomas J. Lobl, Ph.D., Chair of ATA's Board of Directors. "These breakthroughs have created an optimism within the tinnitus community that increased funding for tinnitus research will now accelerate these new findings into viable treatments for tinnitus patients, which is at the very core of ATA's mission. As a seasoned nonprofit professional with a proven fundraising background, ATA's Board is pleased that Ms. James will help ATA fulfill its mission by enabling the research community to restore silence to the millions worldwide who suffer from this condition," concluded Lobl.

Before joining ATA, Ms. James was the founder and Executive Director of Bola Moyo, an international nonprofit organization working in Malawi, dedicated to empowering and improving the health and lives of youth in Africa. She was also a delegate to the World Social Forum in 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya and participated in forums and workshops focused on formulating action plans and networks to impact positive global change. She has served on the Board of Jubilee Oregon, a nonprofit advocacy organization focused on decreasing poverty in the world and earned her B.A. in Communications from California State University, Chico.

About the American Tinnitus Association
The American Tinnitus Association, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is the nation’s foremost organization committed to curing tinnitus. For over 40 years, ATA has helped patients understand and manage the "ringing in their ears." ATA exists to cure tinnitus through the development of resources that advance tinnitus research. Founded in 1971, ATA has contributed millions of dollars to medical research projects focused on curing tinnitus. The association also provides information to the public and advocates for effective public policies that support its mission of curing tinnitus and the needs of tinnitus patients. ATA.org. 

 

For Immediate Release                                                    
May 20, 2013                                                                                                                                               

Summiting for Silence: Mt. Hood 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. – Donna Brown, long-time tinnitus sufferer and member of the American Tinnitus Association (ATA) will summit Oregon's Mt. Hood July 11-12, 2013 as a fundraiser for the organization. With an elevation of 11,240 ft., Mt. Hood is the tallest mountain in Oregon and one of the most popular and well-known glacial peaks in the Cascade range. Approximately 10,000 people attempt to climb Mt. Hood every year and with 12 glaciers; it is technical to climb even in the summertime. All of the funds donated to support Brown's valiant effort will be restricted to funding research through ATA's research grant program.

Tinnitus, commonly referred to as "ringing in the ears," impacts up to 50 million individuals in the United States. According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 16 million in the U.S. have sought medical attention for chronic, persistent and intrusive tinnitus. Tinnitus also remains the number one service-connected disability for U.S. veterans from all periods of service, accounting for over 840,000 veterans. While there are some treatments that work for some people, currently there is no cure.

"Nearly 20 years ago, tinnitus shattered my world and I could barely climb out of bed; nothing in life could have prepared me for the 24/7 agony of tea-kettle-whistling in my ears," recalls Brown. "If you don't have tinnitus, it's hard to understand just how disabling this condition can be - it's a sound that you cannot escape from, that follows you around wherever you go and can interfere with sleep, cognition and daily life in general. I may be 61 years old, but believe me, you're never too old to make a difference in something that you really believe in - and for me, it's a tinnitus cure," she concluded.

Brown, of Colorado, has always been an outdoor enthusiast. In 2007 she successfully climbed another Cascade peak, Washington state's Mt. Rainier. Her success both on the mountain and on the fundraising front helped ATA fund the most research it had ever funded in a single year. As a result, Donna decided that she wanted to help hasten the pace of research once again with another summit attempt.

Over the past decade or so, tinnitus research has increasingly focused on the brain's involvement. Recent studies have demonstrated that tinnitus is not just an auditory disorder but involves many areas of the brain and is closely linked to depression and anxiety. Because of these findings, research is focusing more on the neurological aspects of tinnitus and treating the areas of the brain involved with tinnitus perception. Previously tinnitus was thought to be a "disease of the ear" and simply a symptom of hearing loss.

To learn more about Donna Brown's efforts or to contribute to the success of her climb visit: ATA.org/donna-brown-2013. Donna’s personal goal is to raise $100,000 and all those who make a donation of $100 or more will be included on a special banner that she will unfurl at the mountain top. 

About the American Tinnitus Association
The American Tinnitus Association, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is the nation’s foremost organization committed to curing tinnitus. For over 40 years, ATA has helped patients understand and manage the "ringing in their ears." ATA exists to cure tinnitus through the development of resources that advance tinnitus research. Founded in 1971, ATA has contributed millions of dollars to medical research projects focused on curing tinnitus. The association also provides information to the public and advocates for effective public policies that support its mission of curing tinnitus. ATA.org. 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                          
April 16, 2013  
                                                                                    

A Salute to Silence: National Tinnitus Awareness Week is May 19-25, 2013

Portland, Ore. – The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) announced today that National Tinnitus Awareness Week (TAW) will be celebrated May 19 - 25, 2013. This year, ATA is saluting members of the United States military and all our veterans who have selflessly served, because they suffer from tinnitus disproportionately from the rest of the civilian population. For the past five years, tinnitus has been the number one service-connected disability for veterans from all periods of service and is particularly prevalent in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) over 840,000 veterans currently receive disability compensation for tinnitus alone.
 
“While ATA is increasingly encouraged by the growing interest in and pace of tinnitus research, there are still hundreds of millions of people worldwide who suffer with this condition on a daily basis,” said Mark K. Johnson, J.D., Chair of ATA's Board of Directors. “ATA’s mission is to silence tinnitus by funding research, and we can only accomplish this with increased awareness of tinnitus and how it can interfere with and reduce a person’s quality of life," he said.
According to the Department of Defense's (DoD) Hearing Center of Excellence, economic loss to an individual who has tinnitus can be up to $30,000 annually and up to $26,000,000 to society as a whole. In addition, when quantified, the cost to the VA for tinnitus disability compensation is $1.28 billion annually, a figure that is expected to grow to $2.75 billion annually by 2016 at the current rate of increase.

Tinnitus is the perception of sound where no external source is present and is commonly referred to as "ringing in the ears." Tinnitus is most commonly caused by exposure to loud noise and the second leading cause is head and/or neck injury. According to data analyzed from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 50 million people in the United States experience tinnitus and of those, 16 million suffer from chronic intrusive tinnitus and have sought medical attention for it. 

ATA has developed a TAW 2013 resource center on their website at ATA.org/TAW2013. Whether you'd like to  request proclamations from locally and nationally elected officials, contact your local media outlets, or share an activities calendar and tinnitus-related crosswords and posters, ATA has all the materials you will need to get started in raising tinnitus awareness.

About the American Tinnitus Association
The American Tinnitus Association, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is the nation’s foremost organization committed to curing tinnitus. For over 40 years, ATA has helped tinnitus patients understand and manage the "ringing in their ears." ATA exists to cure tinnitus through the development of resources that advance tinnitus research. Founded in 1971, ATA has contributed millions of dollars to medical research projects focused on curing tinnitus. The association also provides information on tinnitus to the public and advocates for effective public policies that support its mission of curing tinnitus. ATA.org. 

 

 

For Immediate Release
August 24, 2011

Two ATA Scientific Advisory Committee Members Receive Department of Defense Grant
- Anthony T. Cacace, Ph.D., Chair, and Jinsheng Zhang, Ph.D., Will Study Blast- and Concussion-Induced Tinnitus -

Portland, Oregon – The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) announced today that Drs. Anthony T. Cacace and Jinsheng Zhang, both of Wayne State University, have received a $1.5 million grant from the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to study blast- and concussion-induced tinnitus. Tinnitus is the number one service-connected disability impacting veterans from all periods of service, and at the end of 2010, nearly 800,000 veterans from all periods of service were service-connected for it. Tinnitus is particularly prevalent in returning servicemen and women from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Leading researchers in their field, Dr. Cacace is the current Chair of ATA’s Scientific Advisory Committee, a prestigious multi-disciplinary group of basic scientists and clinical researchers, and Dr. Zhang is also a contributing member.

Most commonly caused by exposure to very loud noise, tinnitus is often referred to as “ringing in the ears,” and accompanied by some hearing loss. However, returning military personnel from Iraq and Afghanistan are reporting tinnitus in record numbers in the absence of any measurable hearing loss. Blast- and concussion-induced injuries to the ear and brain are the signature injuries of these conflicts, and are the second most frequent injury among military personnel and veterans.

Their project is designed to study tinnitus and related traumatic brain injury (TBI) to the ear and brain resulting from blast and concussion injuries. These issues will be addressed in parallel animal and human models.

"The goal of this work is focused on establishing the underlying mechanisms of blast- and concussion-induced tinnitus and related brain injury by applying contemporary methods used in neuroscience research, with intent to develop effective treatments towards the advancement of a cure," Zhang said.

The project will have two phases, and include animal and human study. The first phase will investigate blast- and concussion-induced tinnitus-related TBI in a rat model by evaluating anatomical, electrophysiological, and neurobiochemical changes in the brain following an air shock tube blast, a controlled blunt trauma, or both. The second phase will involve 90 individuals and will investigate blast- and concussion-induced tinnitus-related TBI in humans by performing neuropsychological and psychophysical tests, detecting pathophysiological changes and MRI imaging in patients with blast and concussive injuries.

"We anticipate the proposed research will have a significant impact on the new science and new frontiers in the field. All of these efforts will in return stimulate development for effective prevention and/or treatment of tinnitus and other neurological disorders," Zhang said. "Although this study will initially focus on military personnel exposed to explosions like roadside bombs or improvised explosive devices, the model should also have more general applications to civilians that have tinnitus due to excessive noise exposures and perhaps other related etiologies. We anticipate that once the underlying basis of blast- and concussion-induced tinnitus and related brain injury is established and clearly understood, effective treatment modalities will be developed in an expeditious manner."

ATA’s advocacy program has worked tirelessly to increase both awareness of, and funding for, tinnitus research at the federal level. Specifically, a three-pronged approach targeting the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Mark K. Johnson, J.D., Chair of ATA’s Board of Directors said, “This award represents a culmination of ATA’s efforts combined with the quality and integrity of tinnitus research proposals submitted by Drs. Cacace and Zhang.”  Their contributions to the field through this grant, will be greatly anticipated by military and civilians alike.

About the American Tinnitus Association
The American Tinnitus Association, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is the nation’s foremost organization committed to curing tinnitus. For over 40 years, ATA has helped patients understand and manage the "ringing in their ears." ATA exists to cure tinnitus through the development of resources that advance tinnitus research. Founded in 1971, ATA has contributed millions of dollars to medical research projects focused on curing tinnitus. The association also provides information to the public and advocates for effective public policies that support its mission of curing tinnitus and the needs of tinnitus patients. ATA.org.