Unique charity/academic partnership formed to conduct innovative tinnitus research

21 December 2019 The British Tinnitus Association is partnering with scientists and academics from the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre and the Universities of Nottingham and Newcastle to conduct innovative research, using imaging data from thousands of brain scans held in the UK Biobank. It is thought that chronic tinnitus may be associated with changes in the structure of the brain, and that reversing these changes might prove effective in the treatment of the condition.

David Stockdale, Chief Executive of the British Tinnitus Association said: “We are excited to be working with these world class organisations as we push on in search of a cure for tinnitus. The research teams we are partnering with have a proven track record in innovative, patient-focused research making our partnership a powerful combination. Working as one team we hope to unlock the full potential of the UK Biobank data, giving new insight into the mechanisms behind tinnitus.”

Dr Will Sedley, University of Newcastle, who will be a member of the team conducting the research, said: “The available evidence suggests that tinnitus cannot be explained on the basis of activity within the auditory system alone. Although some research has been conducted into the connections between auditory and wider brain networks, and models suggested, no models have been proven.”

Professor David Baguley, NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, said: “There is a real opportunity with this study to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underpinning tinnitus, using the extensive datasets in the UK Biobank. If we are successful, this will open up new therapeutic targets and provide direction for researchers searching for a cure for tinnitus. Previous studies of brain activity in people with tinnitus have been constrained by small sample sizes. We intend to take full advantage of the unprecedented subject numbers available to us through the UK Biobank. This project will also benefit from the University of Nottingham’s recent flagship investment to establish a Precision Imaging Beacon of Excellence as we continue our leading role in the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging to further our understanding of disease.”


Editors Notes

  • The BTA is an independent charity which supports over 1 million people per year who experience tinnitus and advises medical professionals from across the world. It is the primary source of support and information for people with tinnitus in the UK. 
  • The BTA needs to raise £975,000 each year to continue their UK wide support and research activity. Donations can be made via 
  • Not">www.tinnitus.org.uk/donate
  • Not">... an illness or disease, tinnitus is a term that describes the sensation of hearing a noise in the absence of an external sound. The noise can have virtually any quality. Ringing, whistling, and buzzing are common, but more complex sounds may also be reported.
  • About 1 in 3 people will experience tinnitus at some point in their life. Over 7 million adults in the UK are living with persistent tinnitus, and for 10% of them, it can severely impact their quality of life, affecting sleep, mood, concentration, employment and relationships.
  • There are around 1.05 million GP consultations for tinnitus in the UK each year, and tinnitus costs the NHS £750 million annually, with a cost to society of £2.7 billion per year.
  • The number of people living with tinnitus in the UK is set to rise by more than half a million people by 2028.
  • The NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre is translating research into breakthrough treatments, new technologies and advanced medicines for common conditions like tinnitus. Our research is led by internationally-renowned clinicians, scientists and academics working together to improve the health of our patients and our communities.

For more information

Nic Wray, Communications Manager


0114 250 9933

British Tinnitus Association
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The British Tinnitus Association is a registered charity. Registered charity number 1011145.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of British Tinnitus Association, on Friday 20 December, 2019. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/

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