UCL News


UCL combating tinnitus

2 February 2004

UCL is collaborating with the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) to establish a groundbreaking research group into the common but incurable hearing condition Tinnitus.

Professor Jonathan Ashmore

The two organisations are working to raise the £1.75million needed to appoint the UK's first-ever Chair in Tinnitus Research. The post holder will direct a research group at UCL's Ear Institute, a new national centre for the study of hearing and deafness, which will bring together the largest number of auditory researchers in a UK university.

The symptom of tinnitus is a constant ringing in the ears, which can vary from a slight annoyance for a few minutes to unbearable, severe ringing caused by exposure to noise. 25% of the UK population experience it at some point in their lives, although the condition has received little scientific attention until recently.

Professor Jonathan Ashmore, Director of the institute, said: "There are so many new discoveries that hint at tinnitus being a 'solvable' problem, and partly for this reason, it is rapidly rising up the priority list in medical research. The creation of this appointment means that we could move rapidly towards a true understanding and treatment of tinnitus."

The Ear Institute is due to open its doors in March 2004, creating a cross-disciplinary group that will concentrate on auditory and vestibular (balance) systems. Its close proximity to the Royal National Throat, Nose & Ear Hospital will facilitate the transfer of research into clinical practice. The Wolfson Foundation has recently donated £1million to enable the institute to create a laboratory of cellular imaging.

To find out more about the institute, use the link below.

Link: UCL's Ear Institute