James Lind Alliance Gives Patients a Voice. Your participation is needed

The James Lind Alliance has posted a survey to take your questions and present them to researchers and clinicians. This is a priority setting partnership (PSP) that gives patients an equal voice to clinicians in determining the top 10 pressing needs in research. You can participate by clicking the link below and submitting what you feel needs more attention in hyperacusis research:

Submit your hyperacusis research priorities to researchers today

A similar priority setting partnership was done for tinnitus. The process was described as follows

  1. Harvesting questionnaire launch (see link above for hyperacusis questionnaire)
  2. Harvesting questionnaire classification and sorting.
  3. Ranking questionnaire (ranking questions submitted in harvesting questionnaire)
  4. Ranking questionnaire classification and sorting
  5. Prioritization meeting (a group of 50% clinicians and 50% patients negotiate the top 10 pressing items for research)

A summary of the results of a parallel effort for tinnitus  can be found by using the link below:
Tinnitus Priority Setting Summary

Painful Hearing May Be Caused By Noise-Induced Brain Inflammation

A recent study has found that high noise levels result in the upregulation of genes responsible for inflammation and pain in the cochlear nucleus (low level auditory brain). The study was performed at the University of Buffalo and is an indirect product of the lobbying of Hyperacusis Research. One of this paper’s authors, Dr. Salvi, is a scientific advisor at Hyperacusis Research. Donate to Hyperacusis Research to help fund more studies like these.

“In the pain and inflammatory array, noise exposure upregulated mRNA expression levels of four pain/inflammatory genes, Tlr2, Oprd1, Kcnq3 and Ntrk1 and decreased mRNA expression levels of two more genes, Ccl12 and Il1β. Pain/inflammatory gene expression changes via Ntrk1 signaling may induce sterile inflammation, neuropathic pain, microglial activation and migration of nerve fibers from the trigeminal, cuneate and vestibular nuclei into the CN. These changes could contribute to somatic tinnitus, hyperacusis and otalgia.”

HHF Blog: http://hearinghealthfoundation.org/blog?blogid=246
Paper ($35.95): http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1044743116300823

University of Iowa Tinnitus & Hyperacusis Conference July 16-17, 2016

The University of Iowa will be having their 24th annual conference on tinnitus and hyperacusis July 16-17, 2016. Both health care professionals and patients are welcome. The first author of the hyperacusis literature review, Dr. Richard Tyler, will be presenting on treatments for loudness and annoyance hyperacusis. Details about the conference and registration can be found here.

Hyperacusis Research Supports Two Research Grants

From hyperacusisresearch.org:

“Hyperacusis Research is excited to fund two Emerging Research Grants for the Hearing Health Foundation’s 2015 grant cycle. The first grant covers the important topic of pain mechanisms associated with hyperacusis while the second grant investigates mechanisms associated with moderate noise-induced damage and its effects on the auditory system. We are extremely grateful for our donor support which made possible the support of a second grant in 2015 as we had initially only planned on supporting one Emerging Research Grant for this cycle…”

More detail: http://hyperacusisresearch.org/two-research-grants/

$52 Million Invested in Hearing Disorder Research and Drug Development Startup

A startup called Decibel Therapeutics has been formed to focus on discovering and developing new medicines to protect, repair and restore hearing. Their first program will involve an antibody to help grow neurites (a portion of the nerve that extends to other nerves). Charles Liberman, a renowned Harvard researcher who has directly and indirectly contributed to Hyperacusis research, is a founding member. Related research of his on hidden hearing loss found neurotrophins can help restore damage of the auditory nerve.

News Article
Company Press Release

From hyperacusisresearch.org facebook page

Hyperacusis Research Fundraiser

HyperacusisResearch.org and the Maholchic family are holding a fundraiser to raise money for research into sound-induced pain. Donations will be matched by an anonymous donor up to a total of $10,000.

Fundraiser: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/maholchic/hyperacusis

Hyperacusis Research funded the grant that led to the first complete hyperacusis literature review. They have recently funded two additional grants. One to investigate the neural mechanisms of hyperacusis with noise-induced auditory neurodegeneration and the other grant is to research the relationship between pain-associated proteins in the auditory pathway and hyperacusis. Hyperacusis research also engages with researchers who work to obtain funding from other sources, allowing for a wider net for hyperacusis research. There is much more to study and grass roots donations are critical to driving future research. More information can be found below:

Fundraiser: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/maholchic/hyperacusis
HyperacusisResearch.org: http://hyperacusisresearch.org/
Hyperacusis Literature Review funded by HyperacusisResearch.org:
Part 1: http://aja.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=1896739
Part 2: http://aja.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=1896738

Hidden Hearing Loss and Neurotrophins: A potential hyperacusis treatment

Charles Liberman, an established researcher from Harvard Medical School, has written a layman friendly summary of hidden hearing loss in the August edition of Scientific American:

Regarding hidden hearing loss as a potential mechanism of hyperacusis:

“In the past, scientists and clinicians have pointed to the normal audiogram of a tinnitus or hyperacusis sufferer and concluded, again, that the problem must arise in the brain. We suggest instead that the damage may have taken place in the auditory nerve.”

Liberman then goes on to discuss recent research that shows neurotrophins may be a treatment option for hidden hearing loss:

“Hidden hearing loss may soon be treatable by injection through the eardrum of gels that slowly release neurotrophins to restore synapses months or years after a noise insult.”

I encourage reading the full article ($5.99) on the Scientific American website to gain a deeper understanding of hidden hearing loss.

University of Pittsburgh Identifies the Molecular Mechanisms Behind Resilience to Noise-induced Tinnitus.

The University of Pittsburg has been behind some significant breakthroughs in tinnitus drug research. Their earlier work resulted in the development of KCNQ2/3 specific activators that can prevent the development of tinnitus in mice after noise exposure. Their latest paper shows that HCN channels also contribute and they are now looking to target those in combination with KCNQ2/3 channels to more effectively address vulnerability and resilience to tinnitus. Some suspect that tinnitus and hyperacusis are related, leading to curiosity that a successful tinnitus medication may improve hyperacusis symptoms.

News Release: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-08/uops-pti082715.php
Journal Article: http://elifesciences.org/content/early/2015/08/27/eLife.07242

From hyperacusisresearch.org facebook page