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A message of hope for those suffering from tinnitus, from Hearing Help Express in DeKalb, IL

SPONSORED • Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 1:35 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 1:52 p.m. CST

Henry Ford Health System and Michigan Ear Institute launched a clinical trial of a new drug treatment for tinnitus, a chronic ringing of the head or ears affecting more than 600 million people worldwide.

The study examines AM-101, a gel injected into the middle ear, to determine its safety and effectiveness in lessening the excessive signaling to the brain that occurs with acute inner ear tinnitus, most often caused by noise trauma or infection.

AM-101 inhibits certain receptors in the inner ear thought to play a key role in the development of tinnitus. This inhibitory effect was confirmed in animal tests.

Henry Ford and MEI are two of 70 sites worldwide involved in this National Institutes of Health-supported study.  

“More recent theories assume that, while it starts in the ear, tinnitus becomes ‘centralized’ in the brain over time, where it can persist even if the original damage is no longer present in the inner ear,” says study lead investigator Michael D. Seidman, M.D., director of the Division of Otologic/Neurotologic Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford.

“Since the chances of a cure for this type of permanent tinnitus are very low, attempts are being made to treat the tinnitus at an early stage, focusing on the inner ear.”  

Tinnitus affects more than 12 percent of American service men and women who were exposed to acoustic trauma from machinery and explosives. It is the Number One disability among veterans and the government will spend almost $ 2billion dollars annually to treat it. 

Tinnitus in the inner ear is often caused by acoustic trauma, barotrauma, operation on the middle ear, traumatic perforation of the eardrum or middle ear infection. While the tinnitus often goes away, it can persist in some cases even after the injury has healed.

You can learn more about tinnitus from your local hearing professionals at Hearing Help Express: 815.758.0157

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