P. Makani, MSc
TIN-ACT Project: Examination of a mouse model of hearing loss and tinnitus to characterize the underlying neurobiochemical and neurophysiological mechanisms.
Tinnitus is an auditory phantom sensation or ringing in the ears when no external sound is present. It may sound like a buzzing, clicking or hissing. Tinnitus may present all the time, or it may come and go intermittently. Tinnitus is not a disease itself – it is a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear infections, circulatory system disorder, and emotional stress. In some cases, strongly annoying tinnitus causes psychological problems such as depression or anxiety and can interfere with ability to concentrate or hear actual sound.
An increasing amount of evidence suggests that tinnitus may arise from damage at any level of the central auditory pathway and lead to hyper-excitability in the auditory neural structures that, in turn, leads to the phantom perception of sound. This abnormal hyper-excitability results from neurobiochemical changes in these brain structures, and can affect functional profiles of the central auditory pathway and also a wide array of non-auditory networks. However, the neurobiochemical and neurophysiological changes underlying tinnitus and distinguishing hearing loss with and without tinnitus remain largely unknown. These gaps in knowledge are in large part because animal models, and especially mouse models, have not been fully exploited to investigate tinnitus.
This research will integrate recently develop techniques, most notably procedures to identify the perception of tinnitus in mice and perform brain imaging in mice, to characterize the neurobiochemical and neurophysiological changes in the central auditory pathway that underlie hearing loss with and without tinnitus. This research will, in turn, catalyze the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic methods to treat tinnitus.
|Last modified:||19 July 2019 6.45 p.m.|