The European Union has awarded 6 million Euros for an interdisciplinary tinnitus research project which will research new treatments for chronic tinnitus.

The UNITI (Unification of Treatments and Interventions for Tinnitus Patients) project will carry out the largest European clinical study on tinnitus to date. The aim is to find out which patient groups benefit most from which treatment methods.

In Europe, around 42 million people suffer from chronic tinnitus, resulting in  a lasting reduction in the quality of life of many people affected. It affects more than 10% of the general population, while 1% of the population considers tinnitus to be their main problem affecting their health.

Tinnitus is a very individual and complex condition. This complexity means that identifying the most effective treatments is very challenging, and a universally effective therapy does not yet exist. It is therefore necessary to identify the best treatment strategy for each individual patient group, and this is the aim of the UNITI project. 

The data from the clinical study will be combined with genetic data, medical and audiological investigations and existing databases to develop a computer model that predicts the best possible therapy. In the course of UNITI, combinations of several treatment methods will be systematically tested for the first time in a large multi-centre, randomised clinical trial with 500 patients. Different patient groups will receive a combination of therapies that target different aspects of tinnitus.

I am very pleased that the EU continues to support our research. Together with excellent partners, we are thus coming much closer to achieving our goal of an effective treatment strategy for tinnitus.  

Dr. Winfried Schlee, UNITI coordinator

The UNITI research network has brought together an interdisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians from Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary and Cyprus. Specialists from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, audiology, epidemiology, genetics, software development, data mining, medical engineering and neuroscience will be working on the project.

Further information about UNITI can be found on the project website: http://uniti.tinnitusresearch.net.

Updated 23 December 2019