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Target reached!

Last updated on 04 September 2012

The BTA has been able to commit to funding a second year of research work at the pioneering Ear Institute, University College London (UCL) thanks to the many generous donations of our members and supporters and a grant of £54,728 from healthcare provider, Simplyhealth.

Due to these contributions to the BTA Tackling Tinnitus Appeal, funding has now been guaranteed for a new two year research programme at University College London’s Ear Institute, which follows on from previous BTA funded work. This has led to a greater understanding of tinnitus than ever before.

Dr Roland Schaette, the BTA Senior Research Fellow at The Ear Institute – who has tinnitus himself - and his team plan to:

  • test the effects of new chemical compounds upon tinnitus, with the ultimate aim of the development of a tinnitus pill
  • research different levels of tinnitus and develop and test treatment approaches
  • develop a computer simulation showing why tinnitus does not always correlate with hearing loss, and why tinnitus may sound different in each individual.

David Stockdale, Chief Executive of the BTA, said: “Our members and supporters, including Simplyhealth, have been very supportive of this appeal, despite the tough financial situation we are all in. We are delighted that we are fully able to fund Dr Schaette’s two year research programme. The grant from Simplyhealth, along with the generous donations already received from our members and supporters, means we can continue to support this ground-breaking research.”

Mark Day, spokesperson for Simplyhealth,added: “We were impressed with the research commissioned by the British Tinnitus Association to date. We hope that our donation will help Dr Schaette and his team to uncover new findings which will help people suffering with tinnitus throughout the UK.”

Dr Roland Schaette explained how the team at the UCL Ear Institute plan to proceed now funding has been secured:

“We will investigate how tinnitus is triggered and how it manifests itself in the brain, in order to corroborate how a specific mechanism gives rise to the aberrant nerve cell activity that underlies the tinnitus sensation. From our recent research, we know that tinnitus is associated with changes in the response properties of nerve cells in the first stages of the auditory system, i.e. at a sub-cortical level."

“We will investigate how tinnitus changes information processing in the brain, test different ways of influencing the response properties of the affected nerve cells, and develop and test pharmaceuticals that have the potential to reverse the pathological changes. To this end, we will use a combined approach that incorporates models of tinnitus, computer models of tinnitus generation, investigations in tinnitus patients, and clinical studies. We believe that only by incorporating all these levels into a single programme will we be able to understand tinnitus and find a cure. We will study how tinnitus is triggered, and how tinnitus manifests itself in the brain through altered patterns of spontaneous activity of nerve cells in the auditory system"

"Funding from a dedicated charity like the BTA makes a huge difference, and is crucial to achieving our aims.”

Reports from Dr Schaette’s team on their research will be published in future issues of Quiet and here on the website.

For further information about Simplyhealth, please visit www.simplyhealth.co.uk.