Breakthrough in Tinnitus Research Could Lead to Testable Model

Discussion in 'Research News' started by exodus, May 13, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. exodus
      Cold

      exodus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008
      hi

      this seems interesting

      http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-05-breakthrough-tinnitus-testable.html

      Tinnitus is the most common service-related disability for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Often described as a ringing in the ears, more than 1.5 million former service members, one out of every two combat veterans, report having this sometimes debilitating condition, resulting in more than $2 billion dollars in annual disability payments by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.


      Tinnitus is largely a mystery, a phantom sound heard in the absence of actual sound. Tinnitus patients "hear" ringing, buzzing or hissing in their ears much like an amputee might "feel" pain in a missing limb. It is a symptom, not a disease, and though exposure to loud noise may cause it, some cases have no apparent trigger.

      Existing treatments, meantime, are unreliable, either not working at all or varying greatly in effectiveness for those who report some relief.

      But a global research effort involving investigators from the University at Buffalo; Southeast University in Nanjing, China; and Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, have made a major breakthrough that provides new insights into how tinnitus, and the often co-occurring hyperacusis, a condition that causes sounds to be perceived as intolerably loud, might develop and be sustained.

      The results of the study, to be published in a forthcoming edition of eLife, suggest the neural network responsible is more expansive than previously thought. The findings could lead to a testable model that helps to identify what region or regions of the brain might be responsible for causing the two conditions.Having conceptualized a broader, more comprehensive neural network, the researchers hope to eventually test the model by deactivating specific segments of the neural network. By process of elimination they would learn if shutting down one part of that network relieves tinnitus, hyperacusis or both conditions.

      Until the mid-1990s, tinnitus was thought to be centered in the ear, but patients who lost their hearing on one side after a surgical tumor removal unrelated to the condition reported still hearing a ringing—in their deaf ear."This changed the thinking in the field," says Richard Salvi, director of UB's Center for Hearing and Deafness, and one of the study's authors. "Having severed the neural connection between the ear and the brain, it's impossible for the phantom sound to be generated in the ear. It has to be generated in the brain."

      Though it's not known yet exactly where and how tinnitus occurs in the brain, Salvi says their functional MRI studies show the abnormal activity underlying tinnitus and hyperacusis isn't confined to a specific brain location, but actually involves a neural network. Unlike traditional MRIs, which show only structure, functional MRIs show what parts of the structure are active at a given time while functional connectivity MRI reveals how one part of the brain interacts with other regions, much like partners would interact on a dance floor, explains Yu-Chen Chen, a radiologist at Southeast University and one of the study's co-authors.

      The researchers induced tinnitus in rats by administering the active ingredient in aspirin, which has long been known to produce tinnitus and hyperacusis symptoms in humans."Certain brain regions become very active once tinnitus is induced, much more so than it is for an animal with normal hearing," says Salvi. "Even though high-dose aspirin induces a hearing loss and less information is being sent from the ear to the brain as a result, the brain responds with greater activity. It's paradoxical, like a car getting better gas mileage with a less efficient engine."

      Tracing the network's course, the investigators identified a major hub within the central auditory pathway, the sound processing center of the brain. "Other research has shown this activity, but what is novel about the current study is the amygdala pops up. This is the part of the brain that assigns emotion to our perceptions," says Salvi. "Many patients report the onset of tinnitus after experiencing significant stress or anxiety. We think it's not just the hearing loss that's essential. There are other emotional factors working together with the auditory factors."

      The reticular formation, an arousal center involved in the "fight or flight" response is active too, plus the hippocampus, the memory region of the brain that helps identify where things are located, such as the location of the phantom sound.

      So the auditory system is connecting sound to a location, the ear in this case. There is emotion and arousal, but the final puzzling piece to the network is activity in the cerebellum, normally activated during motor planning events like reaching for a cup or catching a ball."We were shocked when this part of the brain popped up," says Salvi. "Almost all parts of the network can be explained: location of sound; the emotional attachment; why people get aroused when they have tinnitus; we're puzzled by the cerebellum involvement, but it might act like some kind of "gate" that's allowing the phantom sound to enter the consciousness," says Salvi.
       
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    2. Asian

      Asian Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4 weeks

      http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2015/05/020.html

      Global research team finds the neural network to be more extensive than previously believed

      By Bert Gambini
      Release Date: May 12, 2015

      Media Contact InformationFind a UB Expert

      Tinnitus is largely a mystery, a phantom sound heard in the absence of actual sound. Tinnitus patients “hear” ringing, buzzing or hissing in their ears much like an amputee might “feel” pain in a missing limb. It is a symptom, not a disease, and though exposure to loud noise may cause it, some cases have no apparent trigger.

      Existing treatments, meantime, are unreliable, either not working at all or varying greatly in effectiveness for those who report some relief.

      But a global research effort involving investigators from the University at Buffalo; Southeast University in Nanjing, China; and Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, have made a major breakthrough that provides new insights into how tinnitus, and the often co-occurring hyperacusis, a condition that causes sounds to be perceived as intolerably loud, might develop and be sustained.

      The results of the study, to be published in a forthcoming edition of eLife, suggest the neural network responsible is more expansive than previously thought. The findings could lead to a testable model that helps to identify what region or regions of the brain might be responsible for causing the two conditions.

      Having conceptualized a broader, more comprehensive neural network, the researchers hope to eventually test the model by deactivating specific segments of the neural network. By process of elimination they would learn if shutting down one part of that network relieves tinnitus, hyperacusis or both conditions.

      Until the mid-1990s, tinnitus was thought to be centered in the ear, but patients who lost their hearing on one side after a surgical tumor removal unrelated to the condition reported still hearing a ringing – in their deaf ear.

      “This changed the thinking in the field,” says Richard Salvi, director of UB’s Center for Hearing and Deafness, and one of the study’s authors. “Having severed the neural connection between the ear and the brain, it’s impossible for the phantom sound to be generated in the ear. It has to be generated in the brain.”

      Though it’s not known yet exactly where and how tinnitus occurs in the brain, Salvi says their functional MRI studies show the abnormal activity underlying tinnitus and hyperacusis isn’t confined to a specific brain location, but actually involves a neural network.

      Unlike traditional MRIs, which show only structure, functional MRIs show what parts of the structure are active at a given time while functional connectivity MRI reveals how one part of the brain interacts with other regions, much like partners would interact on a dance floor, explains Yu-Chen Chen, a radiologist at Southeast University and one of the study’s co-authors.

      The researchers induced tinnitus in rats by administering the active ingredient in aspirin, which has long been known to produce tinnitus and hyperacusis symptoms in humans.

      “Certain brain regions become very active once tinnitus is induced, much more so than it is for an animal with normal hearing,” says Salvi. “Even though high-dose aspirin induces a hearing loss and less information is being sent from the ear to the brain as a result, the brain responds with greater activity. It’s paradoxical, like a car getting better gas mileage with a less efficient engine.”

      Tracing the network’s course, the investigators identified a major hub within the central auditory pathway, the sound processing center of the brain.

      “Other research has shown this activity, but what is novel about the current study is the amygdala pops up. This is the part of the brain that assigns emotion to our perceptions,” says Salvi. “Many patients report the onset of tinnitus after experiencing significant stress or anxiety. We think it’s not just the hearing loss that’s essential. There are other emotional factors working together with the auditory factors.”

      The reticular formation, an arousal center involved in the “fight or flight” response is active too, plus the hippocampus, the memory region of the brain that helps identify where things are located, such as the location of the phantom sound.

      So the auditory system is connecting sound to a location, the ear in this case. There is emotion and arousal, but the final puzzling piece to the network is activity in the cerebellum, normally activated during motor planning events like reaching for a cup or catching a ball.

      “We were shocked when this part of the brain popped up,” says Salvi. “Almost all parts of the network can be explained: location of sound; the emotional attachment; why people get aroused when they have tinnitus; we’re puzzled by the cerebellum involvement, but it might act like some kind of “gate” that’s allowing the phantom sound to enter the consciousness,” says Salvi.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    3. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      All well and good but relief is still ages away:(
       
    4. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Autifony and trobalt says nay.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    5. FuzzyFrey
      Dreaming

      FuzzyFrey Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sustained loud noise through headphones
      Medication for T such as Autifony would work as a suitable stopgap while the boffins develop a more long term solution to T and associated symptoms.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    6. lapidus

      lapidus Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      • Like Like x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    7. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
    8. Moha94

      Moha94 Member

      Location:
      PARIS
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      The article, it's Treatment ?
       
    9. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      The industry wants intellectual property more than it wants treatment.
       
    10. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      Are you still on 2x200mg of Trobalt with good results?
      There is absolutely no evidence that autifony provides any relief, so far at least!
       
    11. Calories
      Surrender

      Calories Member

      Location:
      Bangalore, India
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      B12 Difficiency, Possibly salycilic poising from fenugreek and ginger
      Breakthroughs after breakthroughs! But nothing to bring even partial relief!
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    12. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      There is no benefit in having useless patents, so no. They are interested in making profits.
       
    13. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      Trobalt maybe, Autifony I would wait until the results are out before making those claims.
       
    14. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      We'll see, but we'll have brivaracetam to try soon. It's just great that we'll all these things to try.
       
    15. Robb
      Question it

      Robb Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Brivaracetam when, where and why soon? plz explain :D
       
    16. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      This last section of the article re the cerebellum (motor part of the brain) seems like a key and new component. Feeling hopeful :)

      "We're puzzled by the cerebellum involvement, but it might act like some kind of "gate" that's allowing the phantom sound to enter the consciousness."
       
    17. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      The cerebellum receives input from the inner ear for equilibrioception, also crucial for motor tasks. I'm not surprised it shows up...
       
    18. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Look at the treatments section.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    19. Beowulf Agat
      Creative

      Beowulf Agat Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      If they find a cure or even a treatment to keep tinnitus at a low level - they will make profit.
       
    20. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      Woohooo, breakthrough !

      Sigh...

      sorry , slightly jaded.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Funny Funny x 1
    21. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Why did I look at this and think breakfast in tinnius research?
       
    22. RB2014
      Confused

      RB2014 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014 became noticable
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loss of hearing and then stress and anxiety
      I see a lot of new posts with more and more articles about research being done. This is very hopeful.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    23. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      Point missed.
       
    24. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      Sorry, I understood that the point that you were trying to make is that companies are more interested in developping intellectual property for the sake of intellectual property and not meaningful treatments, which they could market for profit.
       
    25. Dutchy
      Not worthy

      Dutchy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neuronmodulation suggests noise induced?
      I'm not sure if this was already posted here and i'm sorry if it already was,but this part
      of the article is really puzzling http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150512152646.htm

      " but the final puzzling piece to the network is activity in the cerebellum, normally activated during motor planning events like reaching for a cup or catching a ball.

      "We were shocked when this part of the brain popped up," says Salvi. "Almost all parts of the network can be explained: location of sound; the emotional attachment; why people get aroused when they have tinnitus; we're puzzled by the cerebellum involvement, but it might act like some kind of "gate" that's allowing the phantom sound to enter the consciousness," says Salvi.
       
    26. Whyat

      Whyat Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2005
      Any news on above Dr. Richard Salvi?
       

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