SIU Awarded $942,500 Grant from Government to Investigate GABA and Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Research News' started by erik, Jun 26, 2012.

tinnitus forum
    1. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      $942,500 Grant

      Scientists in Springfield believe a specific part of the brain will become a useful tool in developing medicines to treat tinnitus, a chronic ringing in the ears that affects millions of Americans.
      “We’re looking at this one structure, which we believe is very important in trying to identify tinnitus-related pathology,” said Donald Caspary, professor of pharmacology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
      Caspary and colleagues at SIU and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will use a recently awarded $942,500 grant from the federal government to investigate properties of a brain chemical called GABA and how it plays a role in tinnitus.
      The three-year grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research will allow SIU’s auditory research group to specifically focus on the auditory thalamus, a small section of the central brain that is inches from inner-ear structures on both sides of the head.
      Caspary, principal investigator for the project, said scientists believe this region of the brain may determine the severity of tinnitus, a condition that affects 22.7 million Americans, or 10 percent of the adult population of the United States.
      ‘Promising’ drugs
      Often caused by loud noises, tinnitus can result in debilitating ringing, hissing and buzzing for about 10 percent of tinnitus sufferers.
      Tinnitus is “one of the most common service-related disabilities among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan,” according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
      More than 200 drugs also are known to cause tinnitus, and symptoms of the condition usually get worse with age.
      In experiments that use live rats and rat brain tissue, scientists at SIU and the U of I will look for differences in brain chemistry among rats with tinnitus and those without the condition.
      “If we can identify differences, and I think we can, between those populations, then we can try to normalize responses from cells in the tinnitus animal using drugs and therefore have a screening tool for effective tinnitus drugs,” Caspary said.
      “We can flow the drugs in and see whether we can make the cells in the tinnitus animal behave like the cells in the normal animal,” he said.
      Caspary said he has a list of drugs that will be used but wouldn’t identify them.
      “We have one or two unique compounds that are most promising,” he said.
      New drug treatments may be years away, he said, but, “The progress in tinnitus research over the past 10 years has been dramatic.”

      15 years of research
      SIU isn’t a newcomer to research on tinnitus.
      Caspary, a member of SIU’s faculty since 1973, and other members of the auditory research group have received grants totaling almost $30.4 million since 1978, and SIU has conducted tinnitus-related research for at least 15 years.
      SIU scientist Jeremy Turner, another principal investigator in the grant from the Office of Naval Research, helped invent a patented method for testing rats that have been exposed to noise in such a way as to give them a moderate case of tinnitus.
      SIU’s expertise helped the medical school land the grant, Caspary said.
      Caspary said his team also will benefit from the expertise of Evgeny Sametskiy, a research assistant professor of pharmacology. Sametskiy will evaluate how various drugs affect the electrical responses of individual living rat brain cells as he observes the cells under a microscope.
      SIU scientists also will track the way live rats with and without tinnitus respond when the auditory thalamus regions of their brains are exposed to certain drugs.
      “To be able to do it, both on a cellular level and a whole-animal level, and to be able to manipulate that environment … is very important,” Caspary said.
      Tinnitus in humans often begins with damage to the inner ear, followed by the brain trying but failing to compensate for the injury, Caspary said.
      The end result can be noise that prevents people from working or sleeping. The condition can cause depression and in extreme cases make people suicidal.
      Some treatments — such as hearing aids, counseling, sound-related devices —help people deal with the symptoms, but there’s no cure.
      That’s why research pinpointing a part of the brain that may regulate tinnitus could lead to better treatments, Caspary said.
      “We’re trying to figure out how and where it’s working,” he said. “Then, developing a drug becomes a lot easier.”
       
      • Like Like x 5
    2. calin
      Inspired

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      Wow - thanks Erik! Some interesting facts this article gave.
       
    3. Lance

      Lance Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2015
      It's been 3 years since this post came out.
      So what was the outcome of the research done by SIU (Southern Illinois University) school of medicine?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    4. markoana

      markoana Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2.2013
      Nothing, like in all other grants for t, they just take the money, and give some piece of paper at the end that says nothing.

      Most stupid thing people are thinking and saying here on tt that we have so many things for t now in 2015.
      What do we have? TRT and Benzos, wooow, we had it 50 years ago, so NOTHING.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
      • Winner Winner x 2
    5. Bertman
      No Mood

      Bertman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      concert
      We have sf0034, am-101 and 102, and otonomy actively working on treatments. Now these may not be the cure we are looking for but they show signs of possibly being able to help, much more than benzos. Along with that more importantly is the knowledge about the condition that was unknown before, as researches actually trying to learn more about the condition and companies are using this research to trial drugs specifically for tinnitus. I doubt all that was going on 50 years ago.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
      • Like Like x 2
    6. markoana

      markoana Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2.2013
      All of that is nice, sf34, am101, 3 months ago u would write AUT63 at the first place i suppose.
      But does it change fact that i wrote, that we have same as we had 50 years ago?!

      I am not talking about what would we MAYBE have in future.
       
    7. Zug

      Zug Member Benefactor

      Isn't TRT from the nineties? CBT Is also relatively new. There are also stuff like Neuromonics, Vagus Nerve Stimulation, Biofeedback... What I'm trying to say is, there are more methods, and more stuff being developed. It's not my intention to start a discussion about this or that method, for every detractor and bad experience there seems to be someone who is happy with the results. I guess what matters is that there are more options, and maybe better methods in the future. We also have to count the natural progression of the field as people learn (current therapies may be improved as the field learn from its experiences) and the part serendipity plays in science (there are people in this forum who swear that an epilepsy drug helped them, who knows, maybe tomorrow we learn there is some other medication that can be used on T, maybe a pharmaceutical company developing a drug for a completely unrelated field finds out it works for T - Viagra and Penicillin come to mind as "happy accidents" that tend to happen more often than not)

      I have some research experience, not in the field of medicine, but still... If you look short term (10 years) things always seem to be moving too slow, but compare, I mean, really compare, the diseases and treatments we had 50 years ago and what we got now. It's no coincidence that people are living longer and healthier.

      Science is frustrating, a lot of time is spent on wrong paths, but there is no way of knowing right from wrong if we don't try it.

      Personally, as a patient, I stopped trying to look for the next "what might be", as I think it will only cause frustration.

      Best,
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      This stuff either has no peer-reviewed data showing it works, or doesn't even aim to lessen the symptoms (TRT and CBT).
       
    9. Bertman
      No Mood

      Bertman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      concert
      All I'm saying is that there has been progress. Yes we still don't have anything yet, but we are a heck of a lot closer. 50 years ago I doubt they had a clue that T was related to the brain at all, now we have drugs being tested that are targeting certain parts of the brain that could possibly bring relief. Thats a pretty big difference in the grand scheme of things.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    10. markoana

      markoana Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2.2013
      In this moment nov.2015 there is no even single drug trial for chronic t. (all ppl here on TT are, or will be chronic in few months).
      As we now, any new drug from phase I to market is process of at least 8 to 10 years.

      So, what do we have at the moment, just speculations about bright future. (For those who did not learn AUT63 lesson).

      I would like more than everything that we have something now, or at least in 5 years, but the sad fact is that we don't have.
       
    11. Bertman
      No Mood

      Bertman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      concert
      Who knows, maybe one of the drugs being developed for acute T will still have an effect on chronic T. Obviously it would be a lot less, but I bet anyone on here would happily take even a small reduction if given the chance. I understand your argument, but I think it is healthy to be cautiously optimistic. I'm not saying live your life only hoping for a cure, but try to be positive. I myself have a very hard time with this, but I certainly feel better during the day when I have at least a little hope that I can live a normal life someday. Then other days when I have no hope for my future I am miserable. You never know when the next breakthrough in the medical field will be.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    12. markoana

      markoana Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2.2013
      I understand u, same as I... Fail of AUT63, was devastating feeling, now everything looks so far away.
      Hope your optimism is gonna have right, and that some kind of medical relief is gonna be possible in near future.

      Best,
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    13. Dubbyaman
      Angry

      Dubbyaman Member

      Location:
      Northern Indiana
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Excessive loud noise
      Screw medication. It takes too long to get to market. Hope for a surgery or something like that because it will be out like a year or 2 after it's invented.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    14. Bertman
      No Mood

      Bertman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      concert
      I just don't see how any surgery would be able to help, but I guess thats why I'm not a wealthy medical researcher. Although I do find that one post about getting through the blood brain barrier to deliver brain medications more effectively very interesting.
       
    15. Bertman
      No Mood

      Bertman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      concert
      I feel ya, I've been having a hard time lately so I guess I just want to see more positive posts around here. But the truth is the truth and we just don't know how any of this is going to unfold.
      Cheers
       
    16. wizman

      wizman Member

      Location:
      Paris (france)
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/1987
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      fireworks
      Its True that for the moment there is nothing for chronic tinnitus.
      But my question to the TT community is wether there is something reliable to take to avoid tinnitus worsening?
       
    17. Bertman
      No Mood

      Bertman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      concert
      It doesn't really involve taking any medication, but as most would agree earplugs are the best thing we have so far.
       
    18. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      We have a lot more "band aid" (read: money taking) approaches but still far far away from anything PROVEN to help:(
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    19. The only new Info I've found.

      Clinical trials supported by the Tinnitus Research Consortium: Lessons learned, the Southern Illinois University experience

      Abstract
      The Tinnitus Research Consortium funded three clinical trials investigating treatments for chronic bothersome tinnitus at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. The trials were designed to measure the subjective changes in tinnitus distress using standardized questionnaires and objective changes in tinnitus loudness using psychophysical matching procedures. The results of the first two trials have been published and are summarized here. The first trial investigated the effect of gabapentin on the loudness and annoyance of tinnitus in adults with chronic bothersome tinnitus with and without a history of acoustic trauma. A small but significant number of subjects reported decreased tinnitus annoyance that corresponded with a decrease in objective measures of tinnitus loudness during active drug treatment with a washout effect during placebo treatment. The second trial compared the effect of tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) on adults with normal to near-normal hearing and chronic bothersome tinnitus to treatment with general counseling without acoustic enrichment. Significant improvements in tinnitus severity, but not in objective psychometric measures of tinnitus loudness, occurred in both treatment groups, however a greater effect was observed in the TRT group compared with the control group. The third trial is nearing completion and investigates the long-term results of tinnitus retraining therapy on chronic bothersome tinnitus in adults with hearing loss. Significant lessons and observations on conducting tinnitus clinical trials were learned from these three trials. The challenges of recruiting and retaining study participants is discussed. More importantly, the reliability and stability of the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) over long intervals is presented. The implications of this variability for the design and interpretation of future tinnitus studies is discussed.

      Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25983218
       
    20. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      All in all another mil down the drain!
       
    21. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Well, the results of the two completed SIU trials seem to bolster two things that I personally believe are true:

      1. Gabapentin can reduce tinnitus in some people. Did for me when I took it for shingles. Unfortunately, the side effects weren't worth it, at least not with the massive doses I was taking. But I may, with my doctor's guidance, try a lower dose and see if its effective.
      More here: https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/gabapentin-neurontin.3162/page-4#post-140722

      2. TRT (or, in my opinion, any sound therapy including Neuromonics) is more effective when coupled with psychological counseling (which, again my opinion, should be cognitive behavioral therapy). And counseling is most beneficial when paired with sound therapy. It certainly was for me. I did Neuromonics coupled with CBT for about a year. My doctors have agreed that among the tinnitus patients they have seen, the ones that fare best are those that combine these two treatments.

      I recognize these studies don't lead to the cure or novel new treatment we all keep hoping for. But it does show that there are some things out there worth trying.
       
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