Université de Montréal Professor Sylvie Hébert is conducting a study exploring the root causes of tinnitus, a condition that creates the perception of sound in the absence of external stimulation. Tinnitus affects 20 percent of Quebecers 55 and older in Quebec, which represents one million people.
"The auditory sensations sound like buzzing or whistling in one or both ears," says Professor Hébert of the Université de Montréal's Faculty of Medicine School of Speech Therapy and Audiology and researcher at both the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal and the BRAMS.
"It is pretty hard to study because only the suffering patient can describe the intensity. In addition, tinnitus isn't observable with current clinical tools," says Hébert, noting the job may be difficult but not impossible and she has devised a two-part study.
The first part subjected more than 20 subjects to a variety of auditory perception tasks in order to measure the neural correlates of tinnitus using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The second part explored the physiological pathway. The objective is to study the correlation between stress and tinnitus and demonstrate the role of endocrinal processes in normal and abnormal auditory perception.
"Tinnitus can emerge after an ear infection, such as a poorly treated ear inflammation (otitis), sound trauma such as a gun shot or loud concert speakers, or hearing deterioration from aging known as presbycusis," says Hébert. "In certain cases, tinnitus could result from a disorder of the auditory nerve fibers, which would send auditory information to the central nervous system in the absence of prior stimulation."
Currently, no medication exists. However, according to Hébert, classic hearing aids that increase external sounds can help. Also, auditory prosthesis that create a sound comparable to a waterfall can help mask the buzzing and whistling of tinnitus.
Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
30.05.2017 | Life Sciences
30.05.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences