Will tinnitus be curable in the near future?
A group of American researchers announced that they may have discovered an innovative treatment for tinnitus. They found that a molecule called TNF-A appears to disrupt communication between neurons in tinnitus. This finding could allow the development of new treatments for tinnitus.
The current University of Arizona study found that blocking a particular protein prevents tinnitus. The results of the study were published in the English journal "PLOS Biology".
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a condition in which you notice ear sounds that are not from a normal source, including tinnitus, tinnitus, and throbbing. Tinnitus can cause stress, sleep disturbances, anxiety and hearing loss and is often associated with Ménière's disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and depression. So far there is no cure for the disease.
Neuro-inflammation as a target for tinnitus treatment?
Researchers at the University of Arizona were able to stop tinnitus in mice (which developed tinnitus after two hours of exposure to noise) by blocking a protein that promotes brain inflammation. The results suggest that so-called neuroinflammation may be a therapeutic target for the treatment of tinnitus and other hearing problems. Genetically knock-out of TNF-A or its pharmacological blockage of its expression prevented inflammation of the nervous system and improved tinnitus behavior in rats with noise-induced hearing loss, the study authors report. The team's analysis found that inflammation in a region processing brain sounds caused a controlled tinnitus in the ears of the affected mice.
Hearing loss is an important risk factor for tinnitus
Hearing loss is a widespread disease that affects approximately 500 million people worldwide and is an important risk factor for tinnitus. Recent research suggests that hearing loss is caused by inflammation in the ear canal, which is the immune system's response to injury and infection. However, as this affects hearing-related diseases such as tinnitus, it is still little known. The results suggest that noise-induced hearing loss is associated with increased levels of molecules, called pro-inflammatory cytokines, and activation of non-neuronal cells, called microglia, in the primary auditory cortex, the authors write.
More searches are needed
These results imply neuroinflammation as a therapeutic target in the treatment of tinnitus and other disorders associated with hearing loss. Although the therapy used has been successful in animals, the potential adverse effects should be thoroughly investigated before the first human trials, the researchers conclude. (THE)
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