Our former research volunteer Eleni Genitsaridi shares details of a recent University of Nottingham tinnitus study that she co-authored.

Discovering characteristics that adequately describe everyone with tinnitus is challenging for scientists because there are large differences from person to person. Understanding differences between people may shed important insights on the underlying mechanisms responsible for generating tinnitus, and might help to explain why some people respond to a treatment but others don’t.

Parameters that are known to influence tinnitus and yet differ across the population include age, sex, hearing status, medical history, genetics and lifestyle. These factors are driving efforts to characterise tinnitus subphenotypes (i.e. subgroups of people with tinnitus with distinct observable characteristics).

Researchers at the University of Nottingham have recently identified all of the traits that have been reported in the literature for tinnitus subphenotyping. They organised these traits into a framework. Traits most often shown to be important for tinnitus subphenotyping included overall tinnitus symptom severity, hearing status, age, and depressive symptomatology. It is anticipated that this framework can help researchers to better design future studies so that they assess the characteristics that are important for distinguishing participants.

Read the paper (external website): A Review and a Framework of Variables for Defining and Characterizing Tinnitus Subphenotypes