ATA and Tinnitus News

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2014 Tinnitus News

Amplitude Modulated S-Tones Can Be Superior to Noise for Tinnitus Reduction (8/8/2014)
In 2006, ATA funded the initial pilot study of s-tones and their effect on tinnitus suppression. A recent paper in the American Journal of Audiology confirms that these modulated tones (frequency matched to the patient's tinnitus) are more effective in reducing the perceived loudness of tinnitus, as compared to a basic broadband masking.
 

ATA Names Recipients of 2014 Advanced Tinnitus Research Grants 7/16/2014
ATA has announced $110,000 in total grant funding for three tinnitus research projects, including several studies that may ultimately lead to new treatments for tinnitus.
 

National Clinical Trial for AM-101 Medication as Possible Tinnitus Remedy 6/13/2014
A clinical trial with the new investigational study drug AM-101 for acute inner ear tinnitus is currently under way in hospitals and ENT practices in the United States and other North American countries. This clinical trial will investigate the efficacy of the drug AM-101 for acute inner ear tinnitus. Additional data will also be recorded about the safety and tolerability of the use of AM-101. The study will be conducted in accordance with guidelines that are valid worldwide. Compliance with these guidelines will be monitored by authorities and institutional review boards and ethics committees. This also means that clinical studies usually have to include a comparison with a standard treatment or placebo.
 

Notice of National Clinical Trial for Potential Ménière’s Disease Drug 5/23/2014
A clinical research study opportunity is available to those living with the devastating effects of Ménière’s disease. The investigational study medication involved in this clinical research study is ‘OTO-104’. In a previous study with a small group of Ménière’s disease patients, OTO-104 appeared to show a reduction in vertigo frequency and improvement in tinnitus and that OTO-104 was safe and well-tolerated. However, this cannot be guaranteed. Now a larger clinical study is required to further confirm these findings in a larger group of people suffering from Ménière’s disease. 
 

ATA's Annual Walk Event Raises Awareness and Resources to Silence Tinnitus 5/23/2014
While national Tinnitus Awareness Week may end tomorrow, the effort to treat and cure tinnitus continues, unabated, year-round. The next major calendar item for tinnitus patients and their supporters is the American Tinnitus Association's 2014 Jack A. Vernon Walk to Silence Tinnitus, an annual charity event to increase public awareness and resources for tinnitus. This year's walk takes place Sunday, June 8, 2014 at Mary S. Young State Park in West Linn, OR.
 

ATA: Workplace Hearing Protection Could Protect Thousands of Workers from Hearing Loss, Tinnitus 5/22/2014
For nearly 30 years, noise-induced hearing loss has been one of the most prevalent occupational health problems in the United States. Simple steps can significantly reduce the threat to workers.
 

ATA's Research Program: Tinnitus Patients Investing in a Quiet Future 5/21/2014
With the support from its members and donors, the American Tinnitus Association makes strategic investments in cutting-edge research, helping to advance our understanding of tinnitus, and providing a scientific foundation for future treatments and cures.
 

ATA: Treating and Curing Tinnitus is Part of Our National Commitment to Veterans 5/20/2014

Tinnitus is the leading service-related disability among U.S. veterans, with 9.7% of all vets receiving service-related disability compensation for the condition in 2012. As part of national Tinnitus Awareness Week, the American Tinnitus Association urges Congress, the Department of Defense, and Department of Veterans Affairs to take a more proactive stance in the treatment of tinnitus and research towards a tinnitus cure.
 

ATA: Tinnitus an Unacknowledged, Underfunded Public Health Crisis 5/19/2014
Over 45 million Americans struggle with tinnitus (commonly referred to as "ringing in the ears,") resulting in billions of dollars in health expenses and lost productivity each year. The American Tinnitus Association urges the U.S. government to respond to this public health crisis by allocating additional funds for research and including tinnitus management as a reimbursed service in Medicare.
 

Auris Medical Announces Enrollment of First Patient in North American Phase 3 Study of AM-101 in Treatment of Acute Peripheral Tinnitus 3/10/14
Auris Medical today announced enrollment of the first patient into the TACTT21 clinical trial. This phase 3 trial will evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of intratympanic injections of AM-101 in the treatment of acute peripheral tinnitus following traumatic cochlear injury or otitis media. TACTT2 will enroll 330 patients at more than 60 sites primarily in the United States and Canada. 
 

NIH announces recruitment for clinical trial to test new tinnitus treatment device 3/6/14

Researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health are launching a clinical trial to test a device that uses nervous system stimuli to rewire parts of the brain, in hopes of significantly reducing or removing tinnitus, a persistent buzzing or ringing sound in the ears in the absence of any real sound. The small clinical trial, which is recruiting volunteers, is being conducted at four centers through a cooperative agreement with MicroTransponder, Inc., a medical device company based in Dallas.

 

2013 News

SoundCure Announces Results of Tinnitus Patient Study: Serenade Software Enables Clinicians to Diagnose Hypermonitoring 10/28/2013

A recently-released study quantifies how patients with tinnitus “hypermonitor” their tinnitus, the neurological phenomenon of perceiving tinnitus to be much louder than it is when measured objectively. These study results are highly statistically significant, and confirm that most patients seeking treatment suffer from an inaccurate perception of their tinnitus loudness.

Many Who Heard the Bomb Blast at the Boston Marathon Have Tinnitus 04/18/2013

Hundreds of people were in close proximity to the deafening bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon on Monday, and many have been treated at local hospitals for serious ear injuries. But hearing specialists say an untold number of other people could be suffering from hearing loss or ringing in their ears, called tinnitus, though they did not seek out medical help immediately.

Tufts Medical Center, which has treated a number of admitted patients for ear drum punctures and nerve damage, expects to eventually see outpatients with milder hearing problems, said Susan McDonald a senior audiologist at Tufts Medical Center.

Several patients visited Brigham and Women’s Hospital on Tuesday and Wednesday for hearing problems, as well as non-urgent shrapnel wounds. A spokeswoman said all had been discharged.

High-energy sound waves from an explosion can damage the ear by destroying nerve cells or ripping through the delicate eardrum tissue that separates the outer ear from the middle ear.

“Many of the patients with hearing loss that we’re treating were right by the bomb site, but it’s possible that less severe effects have occurred in those who were 100 feet or more away from the blast,” said Dr. Alicia Quesnel, an otologist at Mass. Eye and Ear, which has seen at least a dozen patients.

Auris Medical Gets $51M to Further Develop AM-101 and AM-111 04/17/2013

In one of Switzerland's – and Europe's – largest biotech private equity deals for some time, Auris Medical AG landed CHF47.1 million (US$50.8 million) in a Series C funding from the two Sofinnovas, Sofinnova Ventures and Sofinnova Partners, to take forward its two lead drug candidates, AM-101 and AM-111, in acute tinnitus and acute inner ear hearing loss, respectively.

The Basel, Switzerland-based firm plans to start recruiting 600 patients with acute peripheral tinnitus into two placebo-controlled Phase III trials, one each on either side of the Atlantic, later this year. "We're currently in an SPA [special protocol assessment] process with the FDA," Thomas Meyer, founder and managing director of Auris Medical, told BioWorld Today. "We expect to have the data in 2015."

A Salute to Silence: National Tinnitus Awareness Week (May 19 - 25, 2013)  04/16/2013

The Wall Street Journal: 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.

Meditation May Help Tinnitus Sufferers, A New Pilot Study Suggests 03/28/2013

Eight patients enrolled in a Mindfulness-Based Tinnitus Stress Reduction program experienced improvement in their symptoms and in how they perceived their disease.

"The program makes no claims to cure the tinnitus. Rather, it teaches folks how to use their inborn resources to change their perspective, and thus relationship, with the tinnitus (and just about any life stressor that comes their way)," said Dr. Jennifer Gans, a clinical psychologist who led the study at the University of California, San Francisco, in an email to Reuters Health.

Her team presented the findings in a poster March 21st at the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in San Francisco.

Neuromonics Introduces New Sound Therapy Device: Sanctuary 03/28/2013

The Neuromonics Sanctuary™ device is the company’s newest product to help tinnitus patients. “With the addition of the Sanctuary, Neuromonics can provide effective, simple treatment for the full range of those dealing with tinnitus,” says Curtis Amann, vice president of marketing and sales for the company.

Acoustic CR Modulation Treatment Shows Promise 03/18/2013

A tinnitus sufferer in the United Kingdom describes his experience with the Acoustic CR Modulation sound therapy device.

Brain Stent Eases Tinnitus 03/18/2013

An endovascular stent placed in the transverse sinus significantly reduced the pressure gradient of pseudotumor cerebri, improving tinnitus as well as visual function, a small, single-center study showed.

Of the 12 patients in the study, 11 reported tinnitus improvement, 10 saw improvement in visual function, and seven had significant improvement in headaches, Martin Radvany, M.D., of Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD, and colleagues found.

NIOSH and NHCA present 2013 Safe­‐in‐Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards 03/07/2013

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Safe‐in‐Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™. This year’s winners come from the manufacturing sector and the educational field.

FY2012 Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program Investigator-Initiated Research Award 02/26/2013

Two ATA Scientific Advisory Committee members, James Henry, Ph.D., and Jennifer Melcher, Ph.D., were recommended for funding by the FY12 Investigator-Initiated Research Award.

The list of Fiscal Year 2012 Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program Investigator-Initiated Research Award applications recommended for funding is for informational purposes only. Identification on this list of applications recommended for funding is not intended to either confer a right to funding nor does it guarantee funding. The award of federal funds to support any of these applications is contingent upon successful negotiations and applicable federal policy.

New List of Drugs, Herbs and Chemicals Associated with Tinnitus Released 02/25/2013

The Center for Hearing Loss Help has just released what is probably the most comprehensive list ever compiled of the hundreds of drugs, herbs and chemicals that have been associated with tinnitus.

This list, compiled by Neil Bauman, Ph.D., author of the books, “Ototoxic Drugs Exposed” and “When Your Ears Ring—Cope With Your Tinnitus—Here’s How” contains 563 drugs herbs and chemicals that are associated with tinnitus. Of this total, 529 are drugs and medications spread over 1,131 brand names, 5 are herbals under 12 different common names, and 29 are chemicals known under 125 different chemical names.

Digging Deeper into Tinnitus Management 02/21/2013

Tyler et al (2012) compared the effectiveness of retraining therapy for tinnitus management with regard to "mixing point masking" as compared to "total masking" therapy, as compared to counseling alone. Tyler and colleagues note that traditional tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) advocates mixing point (i.e., partial masking) masking, as total masking was previously believed to not allow the brain to habituate (to tinnitus it could not perceive).

Resveratrol Shows Promise to Protect Hearing, Cognition 02/20/2013

Resveratrol, a substance found in red grapes and red wine, may have the potential to protect against hearing and cognitive decline, according to a published laboratory study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. "Resveratrol is a very powerful chemical that seems to protect against the body's inflammatory process as it relates to aging, cognition and hearing loss," said lead study author Michael Seidman, M.D.

Sonic Brain Reprogramming Treatment Studied 02/20/2013

A new treatment for tinnitus using vibrations created by synthesized music, improved symptoms in almost all patients during its first trial. The sonic brain reprogramming treatment, based on sound vibrations that pass through a bone behind the ear, helped eight out of ten of the patients who had twice-weekly sessions of the therapy. During the preliminary trial, patients aged 35 to 72 with severe disabling tinnitus had two half-hour sessions for four weeks. All the patients, men and women, had mild to moderate high frequency hearing loss. Patients who completed the study said they had improvements in their symptoms during the course of treatment. The duration of the improvement- - known as residual inhibition - varied up to several weeks. That, say the researchers, is much longer than the relief provided by conventional forms of masking which last for only a few second or minutes.

2013 Peer Reviewed Medical Research Highlights: Mechanisms Underlying Noise-Induced Tinnitus 02/19/2013

ATA Scientific Advisory Committee member Thanos Tzounopoulos, Ph.D., received a Fiscal Year 2009 Investigator-Initiated Research Award from the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program to study the cellular mechanisms that trigger tinnitus. Dr. Tzounopoulos developed a mouse model of noise-induced tinnitus and an imaging technique to investigate the cellular mechanisms underlying the induction of tinnitus.

He focused his studies on the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN), a brain region that is thought to be crucial for the induction of tinnitus. His studies revealed that DCN principal neurons in mice with behavioral evidence of tinnitus exhibited increased spontaneous firing activity - hyperexcitability - only in DCN regions that are more sensitive to high frequency sounds. The hyperexcitability was linked to sound-induced reduction of potassium channel activation. More significantly, pharmacological enhancement of potassium channel activity after exposure to noise significantly reduced the number of mice that develop tinnitus.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy  Reduces Tinnitus Severity 02/18/2013

According to a recent study published in Hearing Research, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective in reducing tinnitus severity. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of CBT for patients suffering from tinnitus using a parallel group-controlled trial. Participants (n=286) consisted of patients who had been suffering from tinnitus for at least 4 months. 84% of participants in the treatment group showed an improvement in tinnitus scores, compared to only 22% in the control group.

PTSD plus Tinnitus Make Everyday Noise Tough to Take 02/08/2013

When Marc Fagelson, Ph.D., a professor of audiology at East Tennessee State University, noticed that some of his tinnitus patients rated themselves as more troubled by the condition than others, he completed an extensive chart review. These patients all had one thing in common: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Congress Mandates Better Reporting of Tinnitus Among United States Military 01/28/2013

Because tinnitus is the No. 1 cause of disability among veterans, accounting for nearly 11 percent of all VA disability claims, Congress has intervened to ensure that the military takes the condition seriously. “Congress has mandated better reporting of tinnitus, so we’re now trying to reach out to troops to help them self-identify and report problems,” said Lt. Col. Mark Packer, MD. “We’re also working on improving access to care and making it quicker. There’s a lot of ongoing research in terms of diagnosing tinnitus too. There are likely different brands of tinnitus that may stem from different areas along the auditory pathway.”

Starkey Hearing Technologies Announces New Tinnitus Treatment Device 01/09/2013

Starkey Hearing Technologies, a global leader in hearing technology, introduced its new tinnitus treatment solution and two new members to its wireless family. Distributed under the Starkey brand name, Xino™ Tinnitus combines advanced hearing aid technology designed to provide personalized tinnitus relief. Xino Wireless includes the new micro RIC 312 that offers the benefits of Starkey’s IRIS™ Technology. Visit Starkey's site to learn more.

Misophonia: For Some, Sounds Become Much More than a Distraction 01/08/2013

First described in Audiology Online in 2001, misophonia is still largely a mystery. Despite high-profile coverage of the condition by national media over the last year, few audiologists, psychiatrists, psychologists or ear, nose and throat specialists are trained to diagnose it.

The Tinnitus Practitioners Association, which serves the estimated 44 million who hear ringing or other phantom sounds, is taking the lead. The organization is hosting the first international conference on the disorder in February to provide advanced education for audiologists and other healthcare professionals with neurophysiology and sound sensitivity education and experience.

 


2012 Tinnitus News and Research Articles

Mindfulness-and Body-Psychotherapy-based Group Treatment of Chronic Tinnitus  11/28/2012

In a study supported by the Tinnitus Research Initiative, researchers at the University of Regensburg, Germany studied the effects of mindfulness-and body-psychotherapy-based treatment of chronic tinnitus on 36 patients.

The treatment consisted of (1) meditation elements, (2) imagination exercises, (3) self massage and individualized gentle movement exercises of the body, (4) exercises aiming at directing moment-to-moment awareness of body- and self- perception and (5) breathing exercises with emphasis on expiration in order to reduce muscle tension and increase relaxation.

Results suggest that this mindfulness- and body-psychotherapy-based approach is feasible in the treatment of tinnitus and merits further evaluation in clinical studies with larger sample sizes.

Telephone-Based Tinnitus-Management Program Shows Promise  10/30/2012

Results from a pilot study suggest that people with tinnitus benefit from a progressive management program including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

ATA Scientific Advisory Committee member James Henry, Ph.D., and colleagues assessed the efficacy of an adapted Progressive Tinnitus Management program that involved CBT and education and counseling on how to manage tinnitus, given by telephone rather than in face-to-face consultations.

TMS Being Studied for Tinnitus and Depression  09/18/2012

A team at Loyola University Medical Center is evaluating the effectiveness of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on patients who suffer with tinnitus and depression. TMS has been approved since 2009 for patients who have major depression and have failed at least one antidepressant. The study will enroll 10 to 15 patients. Each patient will receive five treatments a week for four to six weeks, for a total of 20 to 30 treatments, and will be evaluated by a physician three times during the treatment course.

Novel Combination Therapy Being Tested at University of Auckland  09/18/2012

Researchers from the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland are studying a novel combination therapy involving visual and touch feedback. “We’re trying to provide the means for the auditory system to ignore tinnitus,” explains lead researcher Grant Searchfield, Ph.D., Head of Audiology. “When people experience tinnitus they become attuned to hearing it in preference to other auditory stimuli – it’s a magnet for attention. To break the cycle they need to be trained to attend to other things.”

Preventing Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, Tinnitus in Soldiers 09/06/2012

Antioxidants, dietary supplements and brain imaging are among some of the novel strategies that may help detect, treat and even prevent noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus among American troops, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.

Students Develop 1-Minute Tinnitus Therapy 09/06/2012

As part of a Young Scientist project, students at Ursuline College Sligo developed a one-minute web-based therapy to clear the ears of the ringing sensation.“We are running a clinical trial on our website with initial results due in December. We can’t get FDA approval without a clinical trial, so that’s why we’re doing it. Right now there is only one FDA-approved tinnitus product in the US, but that’s for permanent damage. There is no equivalent of our product.”

Pink Noise May Help Sleep 08/27/2012

Researchers at China's Peking University are studying the effects of pink noise on sleep. Pink noise is a type of sound in which every octave carries the same power, or a perfectly consistent frequency," said study author Jue Zhang, Ph.D. "Think of rain falling on pavement, or wind rustling the leaves on a tree."

Microtransponder Presents Positive Clinical Trial Results 07/05/2012

MicroTransponder, Inc., presented data from its initial 10-patient tinnitus clinical trial during on June 15th at the Tinnitus Research Initiative conference in Belgium.

Patients with tinnitus were treated using a novel paired vagus nerve stimulation therapy which pairs listening to tones with small bursts of stimulation to the vagus nerve in the neck. The results for this initial trial were positive and many of the patients experienced a reduction in the severity and perception of tinnitus.

MicroTransponder is in the final stages of development for the Serenity System™ and is preparing for additional clinical trials in both Europe and the U.S.  Tinnitus patients will be able to enroll in those trials by visiting www.clinicaltrials.gov and can visit www.MicroTransponder.com to get the latest updates.

Results Released for Phase IIb Study of Injection Treatment  07/05/2012

Results from Auris Medical’s phase IIb study with AM-101, a novel intratympanic (IT) treatment for acute inner ear tinnitus, were presented at the recent 6th International TRI Tinnitus Conference in Bruges, Belgium.

Auris Medical’s double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-dose phase IIb study with AM-101 was conducted in Germany, Belgium, Poland, and the Netherlands, involving almost 30 sites. A total of 248 patients suffering from persistent acute inner ear tinnitus were randomized to receive 3 IT injections of either AM-101 at 0.27 or 0.81 mg/ml or placebo over 3 consecutive days. Participants’ tinnitus had to be triggered by acute acoustic trauma, idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL), or otitis media after a recent inciting incident.

Randomized Controlled Trial: CBT and Sound Therapy for Tinnitus 05/25/2012

Cognitive behavioral therapy, in which patients are encouraged to discuss their difficulties with tinnitus, can also help patients to think differently about the condition and learn manage it better in the long term. Scientists at Adelante Department of Audiology and Communication, Hoensbroek, Netherlands, studied 492 patients and found those treated with CBT and sound therapy saw significant improvements in their quality of life after a year, compared with sufferers who had standard sound therapy. 

Cellular Mechanisms of Tinnitus Identified 05/24/2012

Researchers in the University of Leicester's Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology have identified a cellular mechanism that could underlie the development of tinnitus following exposure to loud noises. The discovery could lead to novel tinnitus treatments, and investigations into potential drugs to prevent tinnitus are currently under way.

SoundCure Announces Publication of Clinical Tinnitus Study Results 05/15/2012

As Tinnitus Awareness Week commences, SoundCure™ Inc., a new tinnitus solution provider, today announced the recent publication of clinical study results in the Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (JARO). This clinical study titled "Temporary Suppression of Tinnitus by Modulated Sounds" describes an effective means to reduce tinnitus perception by amplitude modulated tones and concludes that "modulated sounds should be used because they may be more effective in reducing hyperactive neural activities associated with tinnitus."

The study details the results of the clinical trial conducted independently at the University of California, Irvine. Highlights of the study include the following: S-Tones are four times more likely to provide relief than white noise; 35% of patients experienced 70% or better reduction in tinnitus perception; 35% experienced 30-50% reduction; 30% saw less than 30% reduction. No adverse events were reported.

BHI Raises Awareness of Hearing Aids as Potential Therapy to Help Quiet Tinnitus 05/07/2012

The Better Hearing Institute is joining ATA in recognizing National Tinnitus Awareness Week (TAW), May 13 to 19, 2012, and is raising awareness of hearing aids as a potential therapy to help quiet chronic "ringing in the ears." According to a BHI study published in Hearing Review, 43.5 percent of people with tinnitus were helped at least mildly with hearing aids. And 3 out of 10 were helped moderately-to-substantially. For those whose audiologists used best practices in fitting hearing aids, the figure jumped to 50 percent.

Chris Martin Reveals His Tinnitus and Support of Action on Hearing Loss Campaign 05/04/2012

Chris Martin, vocalist from the band Coldplay, announced he experiences tinnitus and working to help others. Martin says: "Looking after your ears is unfortunately something you don't think about until there's a problem. I've had tinnitus for about 10 years, and since I started protecting my ears it hasn't got any worse (touch wood). But I wish I'd thought about it earlier. Now we always use moulded filter plugs, or in-ear monitors, to try and protect our ears." 

Study: Insomnia Takes Toll on Tinnitus Patients 04/19/2012

Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital, Dr. Yaremchuk, Dr. George Miguel, conducted a retrospective study of 117 patients treated between 2009 and 2011 at Henry Ford. Information was gathered from patients through telephone and written interviews using the Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire (or, TRQ, which determines the emotional effects tinnitus has had on a person’s lifestyle and general well-being) and the Insomnia Severity Index (or, ISI, a brief screening measure of insomnia) scales.

Serenity System for Tinnitus: 10-Patient Clinical Trial Successfully Completed 03/29/2012

MicroTransponder, the company studying vagus nerve stimulation to determine its effectiveness in tinnitus patients, has announced that their 10-patient tinnitus clinical trial demonstrated that their Serenity System* therapy is able to clinically reduce tinnitus in the patients. Using the Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire, 70% of the patients experienced a significant reduction in their tinnitus.

 SoundCure(TM) Launches FDA-cleared Serenade(R) Tinnitus Treatment System 03/27/2012

SoundCure Inc., a new tinnitus solution provider, announced the launch of the Serenade Tinnitus Treatment System. This marks the formal commercial release of a novel advancement in sound therapy based on the development of S-Tones®, customized treatment sounds developed independently by leading hearing researchers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

Serenade is a handheld device that is programmed in the audiologist's office for each individual patient according to his specific condition. Through the device's earphones, the patient listens to therapeutic sounds which are designed to address the underlying neurological cause of tinnitus. Four different treatment sounds are available, anchored by advanced, proprietary S-Tones. Long-term relief can be achieved when used in an on-going sound therapy program.

The American Tinnitus Association provided a grant to UCI to develop the technology.

Implantable Drug Vial Could Ease Tinnitus 03/23/2012

Draper Laboratory in Cambridge has received a grant from the Department of Defense to fund the development of a device that could one day be implanted in the ear to deliver drugs directly to the source of the problem. There are currently no specific drugs to treat tinnitus, but researchers building the device said it could be used to deliver drugs that might help relieve the symptoms, such as lidocaine, a local anesthetic.

Counteracting Tinnitus by Acoustic Coordinated Reset Neuromodulation 03/13/2012

In a prospective, randomized, single blind, placebo-controlled trial in 63 patients with chronic tonal tinnitus and up to 50 dB hearing loss we studied safety and efficacy of different doses of acoustic CR neuromodulation. A reduction of at least 7 TQ points, was obtained in 75% of patients with a mean TQ reduction of 50% among responders. CR therapy significantly lowered tinnitus frequency and reversed the tinnitus related EEG alterations.

Internet-Based Therapy Relieves Persistent Tinnitus 03/07/2012

New research shows that internet-based self-help training for tinnitus is as successful as group therapy. In a study conducted by the Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy division of the Institute of Psychology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), and the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Learning at Linköping University in Sweden, researchers showed that those suffering from tinnitus can benefit from internet-based therapy just as much as patients who take part in group therapy sessions.

Sounds of Silence: Living With Tinnitus 02/08/2012

Neurology Now explores tinnitus in a comprehensive article about the condition. ATA Scientific Advisory Committee member Jennifer Melcher, Ph.D., is featured. She explains, “Many people are exposed to loud sounds that can cause ear damage but it can be a very hard thing to pin down. You might go through life having various exposures, and then there's one incident where you are exposed to very high-volume sounds, and you get tinnitus that never goes away.”

Touch-Sensing Nerve Cells May Fuel Tinnitus 02/01/2012

University of Michigan researchers, led by ATA Scientific Advisory Committee member Susan Shore, Ph.D., found that somatosensory neurons maintain a high level of activity following exposure to loud noise, even after hearing itself returns to normal. The involvement of somatosensory nerves in the head and neck explains why many tinnitus sufferers can change the volume and pitch of the sound by clenching their jaw, or moving their head and neck.

Auditory Research Group at SIU School of Medicine Studying Brain Changes 01/31/2012

ATA Board member Carol Bauer, M.D., and her team of researchers at Southern Illinois University, has shown that hearing loss, as well as tinnitus, can lead to changes within the nerves and the brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, of the brain. If these altered pathways or chemicals can be better understood, treatments can be developed to reverse these changes.

New ATA Sound Mixer Helps Tinnitus Distraction 01/26/2012

A new custom sound mixer was created for ATA by supporter Andris Zalitis. Visitors to ATA.org/sound can custom mix multiple sounds (like rain, seagulls, fire, and even Darth Vader!) and determine what types of sounds that may work to provide distraction from their tinnitus.

ATA Member and Tinnitus Sufferer to Bike 100 Miles for ATA and Tinnitus Research 01/16/2012

ATA member and tinnitus sufferer Sal Gentile is planning to participate in this year's "Tour de Tinnitus", sponsored by the American Tinnitus Association. “All the money I'm trying to collect for the American Tinnitus Association would go towards finding a cure for both our military population and our civilian population." Watch the story on ABC Action News.

To learn more about the 2012 ATA Tour de Tinnitus, visit https://bike.ata.org.

Musician Does His Part to Raise Awareness About Tinnitus 01/16/2012

Three years ago, New Jersey musician and tinnitus sufferer Roland De Castro held what would become an annual event, the Tinnitus Awareness/Benefit Concert, a gathering of local musicians and their supporters to raise money for the American Tinnitus Association. De Castro said, “What better way to get through to musicians than through music and a concert?” Indeed, the facilitators of the South Jersey Tinnitus Support Group will be there to participate in this special event to raise awareness and funds for tinnitus research, and will be offering free earplugs at the door.

2011 Tinnitus News and Research Articles

Noisy Toys List 12/15/2011

One of the more surprising facts of hearing loss is that the rate of hearing loss is higher with the young than it is with the elderly. Research shows that roughly over 5 million children from 6 to 19 years of age have permanent hearing damage resulting from two primary sources: loud music and toys. Check out the top 20 hearing loss causing toys and also the annual noisy toys list put out by the Sight and Hearing Association.

Hearing Aids Help Quiet Tinnitus 11/30/2011

A new study from the Better Hearing Institute shows that 10% of the U.S. population suffers from chronic tinnitus, while documenting the effectiveness of hearing aids in mitigating the condition. “Persistent, chronic tinnitus is a highly intrusive, increasingly common condition that can interfere with a person’s cognition, ability to interact with family and friends, and basic life functions,” said Jennifer Born, study co-author and Director of Advocacy & Research at the American Tinnitus Association. “Much progress is still needed in understanding tinnitus and finding a cure. But the results of this study are highly encouraging and prove that many tinnitus sufferers can experience relief and improved quality of life by using hearing aids in conjunction with counseling.”

Research Widens Study of Brain's Role in Tinnitus 11/14/2011

Recent ATA funded researcher, Tres Thompson, Ph.D., associate professor in UT Dallas’ School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, found that exposure to loud noises induces plasticity in the hippocampus, a section of the brain not primarily associated with hearing but known for learning-related plasticity. This neuroplasticity – changes in the function of the brain in reaction to experiences – could open the door to long-term tinnitus, he said.

The Prevalence of Tinnitus in the United States and the Self-Reported Efficacy of Various Treatments 11/03/2011

Sergie Kochkin, Ph.D., from The Better Hearing Institute, Richard Tyler, Ph.D., from the University of Iowa, and Jennifer Born, American Tinnitus Association Director of Advocacy & Research, collaborated to determine the prevalence of tinnitus in a nationally representative sample of more than 46,000 households—the largest survey of its kind.

Joint Study Using Magnetoencephalography with Measurable Results 11/01/2011

Dr. Leslie Dalton, visiting professor of communication disorders from West Texas A&M University, recently found that a particular area of the brain can be programmed to suppress the debilitating effects of tinnitus. His research prompted an invitation from the Henry Ford Hospital to participate in a joint study.

Neuromonics Receives Contract from U.S. Army to Study Treatment 10/18/2011

Neuromonics, Inc., the maker and distributor of the Oasis, an FDA-cleared, patented and clinically proven medical device designed for long-term significant relief of tinnitus, has received a $700,000 contract from the U.S. Army to study the effects and use of the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment (NTT) in military environments. The clinical study is examining the effects of placebo treatment and the NTT in active and retired members of the military with tinnitus.

Positive Preliminary Results from AM-101 Study 10/17/2011

Preliminary results from Auris Medical's phase IIB study show that the local treatment with AM-101 was very well tolerated, and in particular that it had no negative impact on hearing. Patients suffering from acute tinnitus with established cochlear origin who received AM-101 at 0.81 mg/ml showed a statistically significant reduction in tinnitus loudness, sleep impact and the THI-12 questionnaire score (p <0.05 or <0.01). Further information on the clinical trial and detailed outcomes shall be published in a scientific journal.

Using Fractal Music for Tinnitus Management 10/07/2011

Audiologist Melanie Herzfeld, Au.D., conducted a study of the Widex Zen hearing aid to determine if it is effective at relieving patient's tinnitus symptoms. Of the 48 Zen patients, 43 (or 90%) showed over 40% improvement on the TRQ (Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire).

Acoustic-Trauma Induced Tinnitus Prevented in an Animal Model 10/04/2011

A new study involving ATA Board Member Carol Bauer, M.D., and recent Scientific Advisory Committee member Tom Brozoski, Ph.D., showed that bilateral dorsal DCN (dorsal cochlear nucleus) lesions made before high-level noise exposure prevented the development of tinnitus.

Pilot Study Evaluates Ecological Momentary Assessment of Tinnitus 09/29/2011

ATA Scientific Advisory Committee member Jim Henry's study on a new way to view and evaluate the daily effects of chronic tinnitus, via personal digital assistant, was recently published.

The study was conducted in three phases: (1) design and development of an ecological momentary assessment (known as EMA) methodology that could be used to assess effects of tinnitus; (2) refinement of the methodology through the use of two focus groups; and (3) field-test the methodology with individuals who experienced bothersome tinnitus.

This innovative methodological approach has shown great promise in the study of chronic health problems and could be a new way to more accurately monitor people's progress while undergoing treatment for tinnitus.

New Findings From Phase 1B Study of OTO-104 09/29/2011

Otonomy, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, presented study data demonstrating that both the 3 mg and 12 mg OTO-104 doses were associated with improvement in tinnitus as measured by the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI-25). THI is a clinically validated patient-reported measure that can be used to quantify the impact of tinnitus on activities of daily living. Both OTO-104 doses resulted in reductions in THI Total Score from baseline as early as one month following treatment.

Research Supported by ATA Could Lead to New Treatments 09/12/2011

ATA-funded researcher Shaowen Bao, Ph.D., and his team at the University of California at Berkeley suggest several new approaches to treatment, including retraining the brain, and new avenues for developing drugs to suppress the tinnitus perception. “Our findings will guide the kind of research to find drugs that enhance inhibition on auditory cortical neurons,” Bao said. “There are a lot of things we can do to change GABA functions, some of which could potentially alleviate tinnitus with fewer side effects.”

ReSound Introduces Alera TS Hearing Aid for Tinnitus Management 09/12/2011

The new Alera TS from ReSound combines an advanced hearing aid with a tinnitus sound generator. The sound generator is used to administer sounds that make the disturbing tinnitus noise less noticeable, drawing your attention away from it, a common approach in sound therapy. "The Alera TS helps change the way you respond to tinnitus by diverting your attention away from it," said Michael Piskosz, M.S., from ReSound. "This kind of sound therapy when combined with informed counseling is recognized as a highly effective way of managing tinnitus."

CDC New Power Tools Sound Rating Database 09/06/2011

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a new power tools database that lists the decibel ratings of common power tools from 18 manufacturers and contains downloadable exposure files.

SAC Members Anthony Cacace, Ph.D., and Jinsheng Zhang, Ph.D., Receive DoD $1.5M Grant 08/24/2011

ATA Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) Chair Anthony Cacace, Ph.D., and participating member Jinsheng Zhang, Ph.D., have received a $1.5 million grant from the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to study blast- and concussion-induced tinnitus. 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.

NPR Radio: Why Won't My Ears Stop Ringing? 07/18/2011

NPR Radio's Nancy Shute reports on tinnitus and its effect on long time ATA member Mark Church and what tinnitus researchers Michael Kilgard, Ph.D., and ATA Scientific Advisory Committee member, Jay Piccirillo, M.D., are doing to cure the condition.

NPR Radio: When the Ringing Won't Stop, Clear Your Mind 07/18/2011

Allison Aubrey from NPR Radio reports on a treatment for tinnitus called Mindfulness Based-Stress Reduction being studied by Jennifer Gans, Ph.D., at the University of California, San Francisco. Previous studies that tested Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, also known as MBSR, with arthritis patients and those living in chronic pain have documented significant improvements in people's quality of life.

Jack Vernon Walk to Silence Tinnitus Raises Research Funds 06/27/2011

The Jack Vernon Walk to Silence Tinnitus, dedicated in memory of ATA co-founder and tinnitus research pioneer Jack Vernon, Ph.D., was held on June 25 at scenic and sunny Willamette Park in Portland, Oregon. 100% of all funds raised for the Walk are allotted toward ATA-funded research projects.

ATA Scientific Advisory Committee's Zhang Wins Grant from the NSF to Target Tinnitus 06/20/2011

A team of Wayne State University researchers, including ATA Scientific Advisory Committee member Jinsheng Zhang, Ph.D., was awarded $330,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a 3-D neural probe. The team's goal is to develop next generation 3-D neural probes that can electrically and chemically stimulate neurons with greater efficacy and can monitor neural activity from deeper regions of the brain.This will lead to the development of an implantable device that will suppress tinnitus.

Sound Pharmaceuticals Announces Clinical Trial Involving MP3 Players 06/06/2011

The company says that in several preclinical studies, the oral drug SPI-005 was shown to improve the function of auditory hair cells and reduce the permanent auditory threshold shift induced by intense noise exposure. Currently there are no FDA approved drugs for the prevention and treatment of sensorineural hearing loss including noise-induced hearing loss.

Ohio University Spinoff Developing Tinnitus Therapy Device 05/11/2011

An Ohio University startup, Sanuthera, is developing a medical device it hopes will represent a breakthrough in treating tinnitus patients. The device involves wireless ear buds connected to an MP3 player that can be customized to a patient’s preference to play a number of sounds aimed at masking the tinnitus perception.

Tinnitus Caused by Too Little Inhibition of Brain Auditory Circuits 04/18/2011

Tinnitus is the result of under-inhibition of key neural pathways in the brain's auditory center, according to scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. A new technique to image auditory circuits using slices of brain tissue in the lab was used and may point the way to drug development and effective treatment for the condition.

Soldiers Screened for Potential Vulnerability to Tinnitus 03/29/2011

Washington University researchers will use MRI scans to look for preexisting vulnerabilities in the brain’s cortical neural networks that are associated with the development of tinnitus in active-duty military personnel.

Why Some People Are More Prone to Tinnitus Than Others 03/23/2011

Researchers funded by an NIDCD challenge grant are suggesting a novel theory to explain why some people are more prone to tinnitus than others. They propose that the limbic system - a linked network of brain structures involved in emotion, behavior, and long-term memory - acts as a gatekeeper to keep the tinnitus signal from reaching the auditory cortex, the part of the brain that mediates our conscious perception of sounds.

Clinical Trial to Test Effectiveness of Magnesium on Tinnitus Patients 02/22/2011

Magnesium, a mineral found in spinach and other green leafy vegetables, is being studied in a clinical trial to treat people with chronic tinnitus. Researchers believe the mineral plays a key role in protecting our hearing system and that supplements taken daily will reduce tinnitus.

OTO-104 Clinical Trial: Protection Against Noise-Induced Hearing Loss 02/22/2011

Otonomy, Inc. announced positive results for the company's lead product candidate, OTO-104, in multiple preclinical models of hearing loss. Data demonstrated that a single intratympanic (IT) injection of OTO-104, a sustained release gel formulation of the corticosteroid dexamethasone, provided significant protection against both noise-induced and chemotherapy-induced hearing loss when administered prior to trauma. The treatment was also shown to promote recovery from noise-induced hearing loss when administered several days following trauma.

GUMC Researcher Says Tinnitus is Much More Than a 'Hearing Problem' 01/14/2011

Tinnitus appears to be produced by an unfortunate confluence of structural and functional changes in the brain, say neuroscientists at Georgetown University Medical Center. "We believe that a dysregulation of the limbic and auditory networks may be at the heart of chronic tinnitus," says the study's lead investigator, Josef P. Rauschecker, Ph.D., a neuroscientist. "A complete understanding and ultimate cure of tinnitus may depend on a detailed understanding of the nature and basis of this dysregulation.

UT-Dallas Researchers' Potential Tinnitus Cure Using Vagus Nerve Stimulation 01/12/2011

A research team at the University of Texas at Dallas, funded with a $1.7-million grant from the National Institutes of Health, suggests that tinnitus may be reversible. They found that if they exposed rats to sound while at the same time electrically stimulating the vagus nerve, the tinnitus perception would be reduced.

Neramexane Study Results 01/11/2011

A total of 431 outpatients with moderate to severe subjective tinnitus took part in a double-blind clinical study to deternmine the effectiveness of the drug Neramexane. Patients were assigned randomly to receive either placebo or neramexane mesylate (25 mg/day, 50 mg/day and 75 mg/day) for 16 weeks, with assessment at four-week intervals.

Teen Hearing Loss: This Time, Teenage Women More at Risk 01/06/2011

A new study out of Harvard Medical School indicates that teenage women have a higher incidence of hearing loss. Researchers studied a total of 4,310 teens, aged 12 to 19, who had completed audiometric testing in 1988–1994 and 2005–2006.

Drugs and Medications That Can Cause Tinnitus 01/01/2011

There are many causes of tinnitus but one of the most common and preventable causes are common over-the-counter and prescription medications. Nicole Evans, M.D., discusses some of the drugs and medications that can cause tinnitus.

Exposure to Excessive Noise Can Lead to Overeating 01/01/11

NPR (National Public Radio) reports a recent study from the University of Manchester where researchers experimented with varying levels of background noise in a dining room. They found that as it gets louder, people lose their ability to perceive saltiness and sweetness.

2010 Tinnitus News and Research Articles

Tinnitus Up 60% in U.S. Troops: Progressive Treatment and Prevention Options Being Tested 12/21/10

NPR (National Public Radio) explores tinnitus in U.S. troops. Listen as Gigi Douban reports on All Things Considered that tinnitus is the most common service-related disability among veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Evidence of Key Tinnitus-Related Brain Regions Documented by a Unique Combination of Manganese-Enhanced MRI and Acoustic Startle Reflex 12/15/10

ATA funded researcher Avril Genene-Holt, Ph.D., and her team at Wayne State University School of Medicine combined two complementary methods to examine reliable tinnitus models (rats repeatedly administered salicylate or exposed to a single noise event): inhibition of acoustic startle and manganese-enhanced MRI. Salicylate-induced tinnitus resulted in wide spread supernormal manganese uptake compared to noise-induced tinnitus. This work may provide the foundation for future studies correlating the severity and longevity of tinnitus with hearing loss and neuronal activity in specific brain regions and tools for evaluating treatment efficacy across paradigms.

White Noise Therapy Alone Not Enough to Curb Tinnitus 12/09/10

Jonathan Hobson, lead author of the new Cochrane review, and colleagues at the Centre for Hearing and Balance Studies at Bristol University, in England, summarized the results of six studies of 553 adults with persistent tinnitus who underwent sound therapy either alone or combined with other treatments.

Annual Noisy Toys List 12/02/10

For the 13th year, the Sight & Hearing Association and researchers from the University of Minnesota tested a variety of toys for potentially dangerous noise levels. 7 of 18 toys tested sounded out louder than 100 decibels- similar in loudness to a chainsaw.

Noise at Work Harmful to Ears and Heart 11/08/10

In a study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, researchers say that years spent in a persistently noisy workplace double an employee's chances of developing serious heart disease. Based on findings on an examination of a database of more than 6,000 employees aged 20 and older who were surveyed about lifestyle, occupation and health.

"Ringing in the Ears" Actually Goes Deeper Than That 10/27/10

Carl Zimmer from Discover magazine reports that research on tinnitus has shown that it's rooted in the very way we process and understand sound.

University of Minnesota: U.S. Teen Hearing Loss Lower Than Previously Reported 09/20/10

A new study put together by University of Minnesota researchers shows that fewer than 20 percent of teenagers in the United States have a hearing loss as a result of exposure to loud sounds.This refutes data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in August 2010.

Is Hearing Impairment in the Baby Boomer Generation Increasing? 09/09/10

The American Academy of Audiology has published an article in its September/October 2010 issue of Audiology Today that discusses the increase of hearing impairment in "baby boomers", people born between 1946 and 1964.

24-Year Study of 8,710 Adolescent Girls and Hearing Loss 08/31/10

Researchers at Pace University in New York studied 8,710 adolescent girls, with an average age of 16, over a 24-year period to determine if changes in hearing loss can be documented. Over the study period, high-frequency hearing loss (common with excessive noise exposure) nearly doubled, from 10.1 percent in 1985 to 19.2 percent. Overall, girls using the personal music players were 80 percent more likely to have impaired hearing than those who did not; of the teens reporting tinnitus, all but one (99.7 percent) were users.

Advanced Smart Earplug Developed 08/26/10

To combat noise-induced hearing loss, a Norwegian company has developed an advanced earplug, containing a built in dosimeter and digital processing.

1 In 5 U.S. Teens Has Hearing Loss, Study Says 08/17/10

A new study conducted by researchers at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston analyzed data on 12- to 19-year-olds from a nationwide health survey to determine levels of hearing loss in modern teens. They compared hearing loss in nearly 3,000 kids tested from 1988-94 to nearly 1,800 kids tested over 2005-06 to determine that the level of hearing loss has increased among teens.

NASCAR Risks Major Hearing Loss of Race Fans 08/17/10

Researchers at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are studying the effects of loud noise at NASCAR tracks throughout the country. The study on workers and spectators at stock car races is the second of three studies that NIOSH is conducting on hearing dangers posed by sporting and recreational events. Research found that a driver's noise dose was 50-900 times higher than the allowable occupational daily noise dose set by the federal government.

Washington and Lee University Researcher Explores a Noisy Theory of Aging 08/13/10

Wythe Whiting, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Washington and Lee University, and his research team are studying "neural noise" in older adults and younger adults "This 'neural noise' means that we lose neural connections, and we process information at a slower rate," said Whiting, who specializes in the psychology of aging.

Brain Activity Called 'Spindles' May Keep Loud Noise from Disturbing Sleep 08/10/10

In a report from Current Biology, Jeffrey Ellenbogen, M.D., chief of the division of sleep medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, and his colleagues studied how sensitivity to noise during sleep is associated with a type of brain activity called sleep "spindles".

Prevalance and Characteristics of Tinnitus in U.S. Adults 08/10

A report from the American Journal of Medicine demonstrates that approximately 50 million U.S. adults reported having any tinnitus, and 16 million U.S. adults reported having frequent tinnitus in 2010. The prevalence of frequent tinnitus increased with increasing age and other factors. Read more here.

NIDCD-Funded Wind Turbine Study at Washington University in St. Louis 07/28/10

Alec Salt, Ph.D., and his research team at Washington University in St. Louis are studying symptoms reported by people commonly called “wind turbine syndrome”. The team will determine if wind turbines and their production of infrasound, low-frequency tones, have an effect on the physiology of the inner ear.

Cell Phone Use May Increase Risk of Tinnitus, Study Suggests 07/19/10

Regularly using a cell phone may increase the risk of tinnitus, according to an Austrian study. Researchers recruited 100 people with tinnitus and 100 without, and compared cell phone use. They found tinnitus was over 70% more likely in those averaging 10 minutes' daily phone use, reported Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

New Plastic Fibers Can Detect and Produce Sound 07/12/10

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created new plastic fibers that can detect and produce sound. When stretched, these strands could be used to make clothes that act as a microphone or generate electricity.

Limbic-Auditory Interactions in Tinnitus 07/01/10

Georgetown University researcher Josef Rauschecker, Ph.D., and his research team have employed a whole-brain imaging approach, utilizing neurophysiological and functional imaging, to visualize various regions of hyperactivity in the auditory pathways of tinnitus patients.

Adenosine Amine Congener (ADAC) Mitigates Noise-Induced Cochlear Injury 06/30/10

New study demonstrates the potency of the selective A1 adenosine receptor agonist ADAC in alleviating the cochlear damage and resultant hearing loss from noise exposure. The most salient finding is that ADAC treatment can rescue noise-induced hearing loss and aid cochlear recovery from injury.

Taming Tinnitus with Electrical Stimulation 05/24/10

Michael Kilgard, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at the University of Texas, is working on electrically stimulating the vagus nerve, which connects the brain and the visceral organs, could help temper the phantom sounds that plague tinnitus sufferers.

Mouse Stem Cells to Grow Specialized Sensory Hair Cells 05/14/10

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a way to manipulate two types of mouse stem cells to develop into sensory hair cells. The work provides future hope of regenerating hair cells in humans and the possibility of reversing hearing loss.

Evaluating Homeopathic Approaches to Tinnitus 04/12/10

Many tinnitus patients are searching for an end to the ringing. Some turn to alternative treatments for relief. The Los Angeles Times explores some popular homeopathic supplements and speaks to experts for their opinion.

Tinnitus, An Inherited Condition? 02/15/10

Tinnitus does not appear to be a highly inherited condition (i.e., does not pass frequently from parents to offspring), according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery.

Study Casts Doubt on Caffeine Link to Tinnitus 01/12/10

Researchers at the Centre for Hearing and Balance Studies at Bristol University studied 66 volunteers with tinnitus who usually consumed at least 150 mg a day of caffeine in a 30-day placebo-controlled trial.

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2009 Tinnitus News and Research Articles

Tailor-made Notched Music May Reduce Tinnitus Loudness 12/28/09

Individually designed, notched music therapy program may help reduce noise levels in people suffering from tinnitus, according to a recent German study. Study leader Dr. Christo Pantev, from Westphalian Wilhelms University, said the approach specifically targets the part of the brain responsible for tinnitus. "It could significantly complement widely-used and rather indirect psychological treatment strategies."

Coping With Vestibular (Inner-Ear) Trauma 12/28/09

Behavioral scientist Ann Fillmore, Ph.D. details the latest information about vestibular trauma, the life-long debilitating trauma which always accompanies brain injury.

Early Onset Tinnitus Treatment Provides Hope 12/18/09

A research team from the University of Western Australia has raised the possibility of successfully treating tinnitus in its early stages by temporarily dampening down nerve signals in the cochlea.

Gene Linked to Rare Form of Progressive Hearing Loss in Males Identified 12/17/09

A gene associated with a rare form of progressive deafness in males has been identified by an international team of researchers at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The gene, PRPS1, appears to be crucial in inner ear development and maintenance.

ATA Scientific Advisory Member Craig Formby $5.6 Million TRT Military Study 12/16/09

American Tinnitus Association Scientific Advisory Committee Member Dr. Craig Formby has launched a $5.6 million phase-three, randomized, controlled clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) involving tinnitus sufferers drawn from the U.S. Navy, Marines and Air Force. The study will be conducted in Navy and Air Force flagship hospitals in California, Texas, Maryland and Virginia.

Royal National Institute for Deaf People Develops Facebook Hearing Test  12/14/09

The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) has launched an innovative hearing check application on Facebook that measures a person’s ability to hear someone speaking when there’s background noise, similar to being in a crowded room. 

Scientists Create Mouse Equivalent of "Person With Golden Ears" 11/12/09

A new strain of "golden eared" mice that maintain outstanding hearing as they age has been developed by scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Researchers Isolate Role, Functions Of Cochlear Neurons 10/22/09

A Johns Hopkins team says it has, for what is believed to be the first time, managed to measure and record the elusive electrical activity of the type II neurons in the snail-shell-like structure called the cochlea.

Non-invasive Imaging Technique Can Help Diagnose Tinnitus 10/5/09

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) can determine the site of perception of tinnitus in the brain, which could in turn allow physicians to target the area with electrical or chemical therapies to lessen symptoms, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.

U.S. Army Designs Next Generation Earplug 9/8/09

The Army has developed a next-generation earplug designed to make it easier for troops to protect their eardrums in the war zone. The new Combat Arms Earplug has a dial and rocker switch to regulates the amount of sound entering the ear canal without removing the earplug.

Zebrafish Being Used for Hair Cell Regeneration 8/4/09

The zebrafish has hair cells on its body that work in a similar way to hair cells in the human inner ear. Researchers hope they can unlock secrets to protect human hair cells from becoming damaged and to stimulate cells to regenerate.

What Do Urban Sounds Do To Your Brain? 7/24/09

Discover magazine explores the various noises of New York City and the associated negative health effects, like stress and hearing damage, from overexposure to loud sounds.

Connection Between Cell Phones, Sensorineural Hearing Loss and Tinnitus 7/23/09

Indian Health Prime Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, spoke about a recent Chandigarh Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) study, the dangers of cell phone use and the possibility of causing hearing damage and tinnitus. "In a research study done in PGI, excessive use of mobile phones was found to cause deficient hearing and tinnitus (ringing in the ears)," Azad said. A large-scale project, with 4,000 participants, is planned to study the findings of the PGI research.

Brain Stimulation: Can Magnetic or Electrical Pulses Help You? 7/15/09

Brain stimulation, also known as neuromodulation, can come in several forms. While no one knows the limits of brain stimulation's therapeutic potential, research on neuromodulation is exploding. U.S. News & World Report discusses targeting misbehaving brain circuitry with therapies like ECT, DBS, and TMS.

How a Jab in the Ear Could Banish Tinnitus for Good 7/7/09

An injection that is administered into the eardrum could help relieve tinnitus.Laboratory research showed that a single dose of a drug that blocks the the brain chemical glutamate cured tinnitus in people with noise-induced hearing loss.

Special Protein Helps Noise-Related Inner Ear Damage 6/24/09

A new research study conducted by scientists from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) provides fresh insight into how noise damages the inner ear and how that damage can be repaired.

Regrowing Hair Cells in the Human Cochlea 6/23/09

Advance for Audiologists magazine provides an overlook of the latest studies from across the globe and details progress being made in human hair cell regeneration.

Deep Brain Stimulation: Expanding Reach to New Patients 6/1/09

Deep brain stimulation was approved in the United States only to treat certain movement disorders like Parkinson's disease. Large clinical trials are in the works for use of deep brain stimulation for epilepsy, depression and tinnitus.

Radiosurgery to Preserve Hearing 5/28/09

Vestibular schwannomas (frequently called acoustic neuromas) arise near nerves that control hearing and movements of the face. Symptoms patients notice include unilateral (one-sided) or asymmetrical hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness/loss of balance. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is being utilized to provide treatment.

Study Looks at Effective Treatments for Meniere's Disease 4/14/09

Research is being conducted to find effective treatments for Meniere's disease. Studies look at managing your symptoms during an attack, or reducing or preventing further attacks.

Tinnitus Research Gaining Attention 3/17/09

There is no cure for tinnitus but the research community is working tirelessly to find one. Based on a 2007 survey, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that some 23 million people in the country hear something when there is no external sound present.

Tinnitus Forum Takes to the Blogosphere 2/8/09

Deafness Research UK has set up its first blog to celebrate National Tinnitus Week (February 9-15) and to reach out to tinnitus sufferers across the globe.

New Research Towards Hearing Loss Pill 1/23/09

Researchers have manipulated a protein found on sensory hair cells in mouse ears and found that the mutant mice were better able to withstand loud noises. Researcher Paul Fuchs, author of the study published in PLoS Biology, describes how the finding could one day help human ears.

Hearing Aids as a Tinnitus Treatment 1/09

A survey of 230 hearing care professionals suggests that six out of 10 patients (60%) experience minor to major relief of tinnitus when wearing hearing aids, and a total of one in five (22%) receive major relief. Less than 2% of patients experience a worsening of their tinnitus when wearing hearing aids, while 39% receive no benefit. 

Surgeons Attempt To Restore Hearing To Patient With Rare Tumor 1/8/09

Physicians at the University of Illinois Medical Center performed a rare surgery in December to restore hearing to a deaf patient diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2)- a rare genetic condition that causes tumors to grow on nerves in the brain or spinal cord, but most commonly on the auditory nerve.

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2008 Tinnitus News and Research Articles

MRIs May Damage Cochlear Implants 12/29/08

Researchers at the Medical University of Hannover, Germany tested the effects of MRI machines on cochlear implants. Certain MRI machines may demagnetize the magnets used in cochlear implants to couple external and implanted components. MRIs exert strong magnetic fields that may induce voltages or temperatures that could damage the implant or harm the patient. 

Tinnitus Treatment and the Effectiveness of Hearing Aids
(December 2008 Hearing Review)

Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., and Richard Tyler, Ph.D., report on the effectiveness of hearing aids on patients with tinnitus. Utilizing a survey of 230 hearing health care professionals, the study states that 60% of patients are reported to receive some benefit  from hearing aids.

Study: Titanium Golf Clubs May Harm Hearing 12/17/08

New titanium golf clubs may make the ball travel farther, but they may also damaging one's hearing. Research published in the British Medical Journal, pitted six brands of titanium clubs against thicker-faced and older stainless steel models, found that the former produced greater sound levels.

Low-frequency Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Study 12/14/08

A study conducted at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has shown potential to markedly improve tinnitus. TMS has previously shown short-term effectiveness in European studies. The UAMS team was the first to introduce TMS as a maintenance therapy in which patients receive an initial course of treatment and follow-ups as symptoms persist.

Psychological Treatment and Neurostimulation Offer Hope 11/24/08

A study involving 265 tinnitus patients conducted by Hilke Bartels, Ph.D., of the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands, looked into whether psychological treatment and neurostimulation would have a positive effect of reducing tinnitus symptoms. 94 of the 265 patients were identified as having a ‘type D personality’.

2008 Noisy Toys List Released 11/17/08

The Sight & Hearing Association released its annual noisy toys list. 14 of the 18 toys tested pose hearing risk in 15 minutes. All toys tested by the nonprofit organization and researchers at the University of Minnesota reached an unsafe 90 dB.

Personality and Perception of Tinnitus 10/6/08

Researchers at the Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, are studying the role of personality in the perception of tinnitus in the general population. They utilized the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire to measure the level of tinnitus-related distress in 970 individuals, with the goal of tailoring specific tinnitus treatment therapies to sufferers with varying levels of awareness.

New October Initiatives 10/2/08

"Hearing loss affects more than 36 million Americans, and while hearing problems are often associated with the normal aging process, more than half of all hearing-impaired people are younger than 65. With the increased use of personal music players (MP3 players) and ear buds, the number of Americans experiencing hearing loss at a younger age is growing, and hearing loss ranks as the third most common US health problem."
American Academy of Audiology Raises Profile of Hearing Loss," an article printed in Hearing Review, 30 Oct. 2008.
At ATA, we know that a large percentage of people with hearing loss also suffer with tinnitus. 

Hearing Aids Can Really Help 7/14/08

Hearing aids can play an important role in controlling tinnitus. To determine if hearing aids were helpful, a British study looked back at 1,440 patient records covering a 25-year span. They found that, for patients with hearing loss, 67-69% experienced an improvement in their tinnitus when they used hearing aids.

It May Not Matter How You Got It 7/14/08

Researchers at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine recently learned that different kinds of damage to the inner ear, such as noise, disease or neck injury, all cause similar changes in the central auditory system. These changes lead to tinnitus. This discovery is good news for tinnitus sufferers. These findings may mean that if a treatment targets the uniform brain changes that all tinnitus sufferers experience, a single treatment may help people who have tinnitus from different origins.

Hearing Too Much? TRT Might Help 7/14/08

Many people with tinnitus also suffer from hyperacusis. Hyperacusis is a decreased tolerance to sound that makes everyday noises - such as dishes clinking or hands clapping - seem unbearably loud. So who would think that introducing more sound to the ear would help successfully treat the problem? Counterintuitive though it may seem, that appears to be the case. Dr. Charles Formby and his team at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa recently released a study demonstrating that Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT), which uses in-the-ear noise generators along with counseling, helped over 80% of patients better tolerate sound.

One Method of Caring for Tinnitus Patients: Progressive Audiologic Tinnitus Management 6/17/08

“Audiologists are arguably the most qualified of all health care professionals to offer clinical services for tinnitus. Yet many audiologists lack a high level of training in appropriate interventions, leaving them wondering how to most effectively treat ‘tinnitus patients,’” writes James A. Henry, Ph.D., a research career scientist with the Veterans Affairs (VA) National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) in Portland, Ore. In this article, Dr. Henry and his team outline a treatment protocol for tinnitus patients that minimizes the condition’s impact on the patient, while maximizing your clinical time and cost.

Music – The Culprit Behind Many People's Tinnitus 6/2/08

The National, on June 2, 2008, featured Dr. Richard Salvi in an article about the dangers of developing tinnitus through exposure to loud music. The article quotes him on the current research that has brought us all hope of a cure. Dr. Salvi closes the article by echoing ATA’s mission to fund cutting-edge tinnitus research that will help restore silence to hundreds of millions across the globe.

Zebrafish Offer Clues to Silencing Tinnitus 5/14/08

This article, which recently appeared in The Washington Post, mentions The American Tinntius Association. The piece discusses the ongoing studies of tinnitus researcher, Ernest Moore, at Northwestern University in Illinois, who has been investigating the inner ears of zebrafish. According to Moore, zebrafish have shown the ability to both suffer from tinnitus as well as obtain relief from certain types of drugs. The article also quotes Dr. Anthony Cacace, of Wayne State University, who is the chair of ATA’s Scientific Advisory Committee.

Hearing Loss Association of America's 2008 Walk4Hearing 5/2/08

The goals of the walk include: have hearing loss recognized as a health issue; minimize the stigma associated with cochlear implants, assistive technology and wearing hearing aids; raise funds to expand services and programs for people with hearing loss and their families; and empower the HLAA state organizations and chapters to do more local outreach. The walk will be in 17 cities nationwide with an anticipated 4,000 walkers. People can walk themselves or sponsor a walker. Top sponsors of Walk4Hearing 2008 include Aetna, Advanced Bionics Corporation, T-Mobile, Phonak and Sorenson IP Relay. For a complete update of walk sites and dates go to HLAA's website.

Potential Treatment for Noise-Induced Tinnitus 4/22/08

Exposure to loud sound is the most common cause of tinnitus. Researchers in Israel found that applying the drug "ifenprodil" directly to the cochlea, when applied within four days of damaging sound exposure, made noise-induced tinnitus go away. In addition to potential treatment options, this discovery suggests that tinnitus causes changes in the brain that become more permanent over time. Read the research summary or read the complete article.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy: Helpful Day or Night 4/22/08

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) uses counseling, education and sound therapy to help a person reduce or end their tinnitus perception. TRT often involves using sound generators for up to eight hours a day. Researchers in Italy recently reported reduced tinnitus symptoms in 68 percent of their patients. Furthermore, researchers in France discovered that using sound generators at night is at least as effective as using them during the day. Advantages to nighttime use may include rapidly improved sleep quality and decreased use of sleep medications.

25 Years of Proof: Hearing Aids Can Help Tinnitus 4/22/08

A study that ran from 1980-2004 found that, of 1,440 patients with hearing loss and tinnitus, almost 70 percent reported improvement in their tinnitus perception after receiving hearing aids. This held true whether the patient had hearing loss on just one or on both sides.

Tinnitus Featured on Good Morning America 4/7/08

On Monday April 7, 2008, Good Morning America featured a segment on tinnitus and new sound therapies to help treat this devastating condition. Also included in the story was Richard Salvi, Ph.D., Director for The Center for Hearing and Deafness at State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Salvi is the former chair of ATA’s Scientific Advisory Committee. Read more here and/or view the segment on the ABC website (click on the top video). (Read more about tinnitus and who is at risk in ATA's How Loud is Too Loud section.)

New York Times Highlights Tinnitus Research 4/1/08

This article, which appears in the April 1, 2008 edition of The New York Times, highlights the advances made in tinnitus research over the past five years and why researchers are so optimistic about finding a cure for this harrowing condition. Featured in the article are Drs. Thomas Brozoski, Anthony Cacace, Jennifer Melcher and Richard Salvi.

U.S. Troops Returning With More Hearing Damage 3/7/08

The Associated Press broke a story on March 7, 2008 about the vast numbers of military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with tinnitus and other hearing damage. The article featured The American Tinnitus Association as an expert resource for analytical data pertaining to the growing number of military personnel afflicted with this harrowing condition. Over 200 major news websites including MSNBC, Yahoo News and CBS featured the AP story.

Answered at Last: Why Your Teenager Never Seems to Hear You 3/4/08

Consider these facts recently released by researchers at West Virginia University.
Of 238 college students:

  • 75 percent knew that loud sounds could cause hearing loss.
  • 50 percent exposed themselves to loud music anyway.
  • 66 percent had experienced tinnitus.
  • Of those that had experienced tinnitus, 58 percent weren’t concerned about it.

Recent research reveals a critical need in higher education for comprehensive healthy hearing awareness and instruction. Then maybe your teenager will hear you when you call their name. Read about these findings here.

NIDCD Initiates Doctor Research Training Program 3/4/08

Though medical research is valuable in its own right, its ultimate purpose is to improve disease treatment and management. The National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) recently announced an award program that will pair otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat doctors) with research scientists so that doctors can learn how to do research. This means that scientific discoveries will move more quickly from the research lab to the doctor’s office – where they can benefit you.

Sound Therapies Overview 3/4/08

The Wall Street Journal, in its March 4, 2008 edition, referenced ATA in an article focusing on sound therapies, including “Neruromonics” and “Tinnitus Retraining Therapy.” Featured in the article are Dr. Craig Newman of the Cleveland Clinic, who currently serves on ATA’s Scientific Advisory Committee; Dr. Craig Kasper of the The New York Otolaryngology Group, who is part of ATA’s New York City Fund Raising Council; and Dr. Pawel Jastreboff, a past ATA grant recipient, of the Emory University Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Clinic.

Stress Increases Tinnitus In Loud Environments 2/8/08

Tinnitus sufferers have long reported that their tinnitus sound increases in loud environments. For the first time, researchers are figuring out why. A recent study determined that levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone, rose after sound exposure. The study found that although overall cortisol levels were lower in tinnitus patients than in non-tinnitus subjects, the amount of subjective stress they reported was significantly higher. Unsurprisingly, their tinnitus went up as well. 

Malady of the 21st Century 02/08

An article in The News-Gazette, a Southern Illinois newspaper, featured ATA as the go-to resource for information on tinnitus. It also highlights current, ongoing research at Southern Illinois University and discusses the scope of the tinnitus problem in the United States.

More Research Funding for Tinnitus 2/08

The February 2008 issue of ADVANCE for Audiologists included an article by Jennifer Born, ATA Director of Advocacy & Research. The article highlights the recent success celebrated by ATA – advocacy efforts that helped  increase research funding available for tinnitus investigation in the 2008 Department of Defense Appropriations bill. The article also stressed why these research dollars are important to health professionals who treat tinnitus patients.

NIH-Funded Research Goes Open Access 1/2/08

For the first time, research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) - which is to say, research funded by American taxpayers - will be made accessible for free via the internet within one year of publication. Previously, research findings were available only through pricey professional journals, a problem for scientists on tight budgets. "Improved access will enable universities to maximize their own investment in research," notes David Shulenburger, Vice President for Academic Affairs at the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, "and [will] widen the potential for discovery as the results are more readily available for others to build upon." The NIH will publish research on The National Library of Medicine database, www.pubmed.gov. Read more here and here.

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