Acute (New Onset) Tinnitus Research
The purpose of the study is to learn more about acute (recent onset) tinnitus, including its associated changes in the brain that may cause it. This knowledge may help us to understand how tinnitus develops, and potentially open the door to changing the way we investigate and treat new cases of acute tinnitus, and longstanding cases as well.
Electroencephalography (EEG), a non-invasive method whereby electrodes are placed along the participant’s scalp, will be used to record both spontaneous (always present) and sound-driven electrical brain activity in people who have developed tinnitus within the previous 4 weeks. These participants will then be tested again 6 months later. Measures will be compared across the two time points as well as against a group of carefully matched controls (people without tinnitus).
The researchers hope to identify brain processes that are specifically altered in tinnitus, including those which are only altered for a limited amount of time, and those that develop over a longer period of time. Processes known to be driven by specific brain chemicals which are thought to be linked to tinnitus will be monitored as part of this research. If any of these chemicals are shown to be involved in tinnitus development, this could pave the way for clinical trials using existing medications that are known to target these chemicals.
- Age 18 or over
- The ability to make and communicate an informed choice about whether to take part in the study
- The ability to sit still and comfortably in a comfortable chair for around 1 hour at a time.
Researchers are looking for participants who have either experienced tinnitus which has persisted for at least three days, and began within the last 3-4 weeks, and for those who have not experienced tinnitus.
Please indicate when applying which situation you are applying for.
Please note that outcomes of applications will begin being sent out at the start of September.
What will I be asked to do?
In this study, volunteers who have recently developed tinnitus attend our laboratory to do the following:
- Undergo a hearing test
- Undergo some computer-based sound tests
- Have an electroencephalography (EEG) ‘brainwave’ recording*
- If applying as someone who has experienced tinnitus you will also be asked to provide details about your tinnitus and other health symptoms, and complete questionnaires
The study takes between 3 and 4 hours in total per visit.
If willing, volunteers will make a total of 2 visits to complete the study: once in the first 4 weeks from tinnitus onset, and once after 6 months.
* Electroencephalography (EEG), a non-invasive method whereby electrodes are placed along the participant’s scalp, will be used to record both spontaneous (always present) and sound-driven electrical brain activity. In this, a fabric cap is placed over the participant's head, and a number of spots of gel are placed in this (similar consistency to hair gel, which will remain in the participant's hair until washed out with water). This takes around 30-60 minutes to set up and then runs for around 60 minutes. During some of this time, the participant will just need to sit and relax, and at other times sounds will be played through the headphones. For some of these periods the participant may need to perform tasks on a computer related to the sounds, and for other periods just watch a silent film.
When and where?
Meetings will commence from the 5th of September.
Meetings will be arranged at a date and time which is suitable for you.
Faculty of Medical Sciences
The Medical School
Newcastle upon Tyne
Will I get anything for taking part?
First, the members will undergo a hearing test. Based on the results of the hearing, they may be included in further tests. The participants will be paid £10 for the hearing test and £40 for the further tests.
Acute (New Onset) Tinnitus Research Discussion
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