Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Groundbreaking Study into Causes of Tinnitus

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Groundbreaking Study into Causes of Tinnitus

Article excerpt

Byline: Craig Thompson Health Reporter

SCIENTISTS in Newcastle are un ravelling the complex brain mech anisms responsible for causing the debilitating condition tinnitus.

For the first time, researchers have recorded directly from the brain of someone with the condition to find the brain networks linked to causing the agonising problem.

Dr William Sedley, from Newcastle University's Institute of Neuroscience, coled the international research with Dr Phillip Gander, from the University of Iowa in America.

It Their work contrasted brain activity during periods when tinnitus was relatively stronger, and weaker.

like constant hissing The research was only possi ble because the 50yearold man they studied required in vasive electrode monitoring for epilepsy. He also happened to have a typical pattern of tinni tus, including ringing in both ears, in association with hear ing loss.

my Lindsay Findings of the research shed new light on the mechanisms of tinnitus and it is hoped that this will eventually lead to better treatments for patients.

The researchers found the expected tinnituslinked brain activity, but they report that the unusual activity extended far beyond the expected regions to other parts of the ear and brain.

Dr Sedley said: "This is a big step for ward in our understanding of tinnitus, as it is the first time we have been able to clearly associate the patient's own sub jective experience of tinnitus with direct and precise measurements of brain activity. Perhaps the most remarkable finding was that activity directly linked to tinnitus was very extensive, and spanned a large proportion of the part of the brain we measured from. We hope that the extra amount of knowledge we have gained will indirectly help us to develop more treatments for patients in the future. …

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