Scientists at the University of Arizona have made a breakthrough on research into tinnitus that they hope could help develop a cure.
Research on mice showed that the scientists were able to stop the condition in the animals by blocking a protein that triggers brain inflammation. It's now hoped that they could potentially develop a pill that can treat the condition as well as other hearing problems.
It's currently unknown how tinnitus develops in people, despite one in 10 suffering from the condition.
The study, which was co-authored by Professor Shaowen Bao, was published in the journal PLOS Biology, and suggests that tinnitus is caused by a molecule called TNF-A. Blocking the molecule in mice that were exposed to loud noise for two hours helped prevent them from developing tinnitus, meaning that focusing further on this area of research may lead to further breakthroughs.
"Genetic knock out of TNF-A or pharmacologically blocking its expression prevented neuro-inflammation and ameliorated the behaviour associated with tinnitus in mice with noise induced hearing loss," Professor Bao told the Metro. "These results implicate neuro-inflammation as a therapeutic target for treating tinnitus and other hearing loss related disorders."
Read our recent DJs' guide to preventing tinnitus here.
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