Over 7 million adults in the UK are living with persistent tinnitus, and for 10% of them, it can severely impact their quality of life, affecting sleep, mood, concentration, employment and relationships.
It is thought that chronic tinnitus may be associated with changes in the structure of the brain, and that reversing these changes might prove effective in the treatment of the condition.
The British Tinnitus Association, an independent charity which supports over 1 million people per year, is partnering with scientists and academics from the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre and the Universities of Nottingham and Newcastle to conduct innovative research, using imaging data from thousands of brain scans held in the UK Biobank.
“We are excited to be working with these world class organisations as we push on in search of a cure for tinnitus,” said David Stockdale, Chief Executive of the British Tinnitus Association. “The research teams we are partnering with have a proven track record in innovative, patient-focused research making our partnership a powerful combination. Working as one team we hope to unlock the full potential of the UK Biobank data, giving new insight into the mechanisms behind tinnitus.”
About 1 in 3 people will experience tinnitus at some point in their life. If this research is successful, it could have a huge impact on the daily lives of millions of people.
“If we are successful, this will open up new therapeutic targets and provide direction for researchers searching for a cure for tinnitus,” said Professor David Baguley, NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre. “Previous studies of brain activity in people with tinnitus have been constrained by small sample sizes. We intend to take full advantage of the unprecedented subject numbers available to us through the UK Biobank.”
Find out more here.