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Identification of functional and molecular biomarkers in mildly hearing impaired subjects with and without tinnitus
18 April 2018 (online)
Tinnitus is as a symptomatic malfunction of our hearing system, where phantom sounds are perceived without acoustic stimulation.
In recent years we have developed a fingerprint for tinnitus using a combination of behavior animal models for tinnitus and electrophysiological as well as molecular approaches in the peripheral and central auditory system. The characteristic features that distinguished equally hearing impaired animals with and without tinnitus are described through a failure to centrally maintain sound sensitivity after peripheral deprivation selectively in tinnitus animals (Knipper et al 2013, Prog. Biology; Rüttiger et al 2013, Singer et al 2013).
Here we present a clinical pilot study in hearing-impaired subjects with and without tinnitus that aimed to test our hypotheses in humans. We use audiometric measurements, the analysis of body fluids, and functional magnetic resonance tomography (fMRI). The results of this first pilot study in humans are discussed in the context of previous findings gained in animals.
No conflict of interest has been declared by the author(s).