We’re delighted to announce that we have awarded a grant of £118,000 to a team from Macquarie University, Australia for a study that aims to develop a reliable objective measure of tinnitus.

The three-year research project – led by Professor David McAlpine of Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia, with a team including Dr Roland Schaette of the Ear Institute, University College London – will use artificial intelligence (AI) to determine whether a person has tinnitus – or not – through examining recordings of their brain waves.

Using artificial intelligence means we can look at more data, more quickly and more thoroughly and is an exciting use of this technology.

Professor David McAlpine.

Currently, the presence of tinnitus is confirmed by a report from the person experiencing it, and its impact and improvement measured by questionnaires. These questionnaires have limitations, and an objective measure of tinnitus would allow future treatments to be accurately assessed, leading to more effective management of tinnitus. Ultimately, such a measure would also be able to confirm that someone’s tinnitus is ‘cured’.

The approach used in the study will also investigate the causes of tinnitus and where changes in the inner ear and hearing brain might be occurring. Findings from the study have the potential to guide new treatment options for people with tinnitus.

We will update you as the research progresses!

BTA's large research grants

This is the second of two projects to be funded from our £243,000 large research grant funding programme in 2020/21, which is the highest amount we've ever awarded, and cements our position as one of the largest tinnitus research funders in the UK. The other project, 'Novel cytokines as biomarkers for tinnitus’ is already underway.

Tinnitus research is dramatically underfunded and we’re committed to funding, supporting and lobbying for what’s needed to silence tinnitus once and for all.

Please help us to continue to fund projects like this.

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Photo: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay