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March 25, 2003

Funds for tinnitus research

From: NZ City, New Zealand - Mar 25, 2003

NZ researchers to investigate causes of common condition tinnitus - which causes crackling or ringing in the ears
26 March 2003

The National Foundation for the Deaf is funding an investigation into the causes of the common condition tinnitus.

The condition is a chirping, crackling or ringing in the ears which affects approximately one percent of New Zealanders. This rate rises to around 40 percent in people over the age of 60.

The two-year research project will be headed by Professor Paul Smith and Associate Professor Cynthia Darlington at the University of Otago School of Health Sciences.

Dr Darlington says the research, which is the first of its kind in New Zealand, will involve identifying changes in neurotransmitter receptors, the activation sites for the brain's chemical messengers, which undergo a change in people with tinnitus.

There is a group of protein complexes in the brain which are involved in the change and it is hoped to eventually develop drug treatments that will target those proteins.

© 2003 NZCity, IRN