Autifony have announced (pdf only) that their AUT00063 Phase II trial for tinnitus has been terminated due to lack of efficacy....
Thoughts and information on the latest in evidence-based tinnitus treatment.
"Is there a cure for tinnitus? Or do we just have to bear with it? Audiologists say the noise is not in the ears, it's in your head. So what is really the truth?"
Many people ask themselves "Why have I got tinnitus?", "Why did it have to be me?", "Why don't other people hear these sounds?", "What is making this awful sound in my head?"
Research into the causes and mechanisms of tinnitus is still ongoing, and we are learning more and more about the hows and whys of tinnitus every day. It is a question that has puzzled philosophers and physicians since the time of Socrates, but we are very close to a cure, at least for some people....
I regularly research the latest devices for treating tinnitus as well as what is going on in the drug research world so that I can keep up to date with the latest treatments and give the best advice to my patients. After all, when you are looking for a tinnitus consultant you want to know that the advice they give you is based on current knowledge, not what they learned 20 or 30 years ago. One added benefit is that it can also help predict what treatments may be coming in the next five to ten years. Knowing that pharmaceutical companies are searching for a medical treatment for tinnitus gives hope to many sufferers that one day they'll be able to just take a pill every morning and evening and never again be troubled by distressing noises in their head. The trouble is, many drug trials end up going nowhere because it turns out the side effects are too severe and they can't find a way round them.
I'll give you an example: it has long been known that lidocaine, the same anaesthetic that dentists use to numb your teeth before drilling them, can switch tinnitus off when it is injected intravenously. Now don't go rushing round to your dentist to ask for a shot of lidocaine in your arm. "Why?", I hear you ask. Well, lidocaine has the very serious side effect that it prolongs the heart's QT interval. You may think a prolonged QT interval would be worth it to get even five minutes of relief from your tinnitus, but you'd be wrong. Listen to this description of the QT interval:...
Scientists over at the University of Pittsbburgh (Pitt) School of Medicine have made a breakthrough in the search for a drug to prevent tinnitus after exposure to loud noise.
Thanos Tzounopoulos, Ph.D., associate professor and member of the auditory research group in the Department of Otolaryngology, Pitt School of Medicine says "There is no cure for it, and current therapies such as hearing aids don’t provide relief for many patients,” he said. “We hope that by identifying the underlying cause, we can develop effective interventions".
The team focused on the Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus (DCN), an area of the brain that is an important auditory centre. The DCN has been found in previous tinnitus research on mice to become hyperactive after exposure to loud noise, and fire off random signals even when no sound is present. The new research looked at a particular kind of potassium ion channel, called the KCNQ channel through which potassium ions travel into and out of cells. It turns out that the mice have hyperactive DCN cells because of a reduction in KCNQ potassium channel activity. Normally, these KCNQ channels would act to dampen down the excitability of DCN cells.
The London Tinnitus Treatment Clinic are proud to announce that we are now a SoundCure Certified Provider, and can assess and fit patients at our Harley Street consulting rooms. The recommended schedule includes an assessment & fitting, a follow-up after one week, a further follow-up after one month, and then every six months or as the patient requires.
So, who are SoundCure and what is different about their new device? Other tinnitus sound therapy devices were inspired by theories and then research was formulated to try to demonstrate their effectiveness. The Serenade® on the other hand is a medical device that was born out of research that started in 2006, when researchers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) began working with a patient with a cochlear implant who was suffering from tinnitus. Traditional treatment approaches were attempted, but failed to provide relief. They then applied a pitch-matched amplitude modulated sound, at a comfortable loudness via the patient’s cochlear implant and discovered that this relieved the patient’s tinnitus–for the first time in two years, all he heard was a calming, pleasant tone produced by the low-rate stimulus. Transferring this technology from a cochlear implant to sounds anyone could hear led to the creation of S-Tones®, the foundation of the SoundCure Serenade® technology.
Prospective patients and sometimes their loved ones often ask me if there have been any effective new tinnitus treatments discovered in 2013, or even if there is a cure for tinnitus yet.
I have to say that 2013 has been a good year for new developments in tinnitus treatment. We have some good evidence on the effectiveness of existing treatments, and some very exciiting new developments that have emerged out of research within the last few years from the University of California.