For the longest time, the cause of Tinnitus, the condition that makes a constant ringing noise in a person’s ears, has been unknown. Tinnitus also doesn’t have a tried and tested cure or treatment. However, a group of scientists, led by Dr. Bao Shaowen think that they may have a breakthrough treatment for the condition.
The scientists performed some experiments on mice (that were exposed to loud noise for two hours because of which they developed tinnitus) through which they were able to stop the condition by blocking a protein called TNF-A (tumor necrosis factor alpha) that incites brain inflammation and disrupts communication between neurons. The team found that inflammation in the sound processing region of the mice’s brain controlled tinnitus, indicating that treating inflammation in that region of the brain could lead to a treatment or cure for tinnitus and other disorders related to hearing.
Even though the experiment was successful on mice, Dr. Bao suggests that further studies need to be done before starting trials on humans.
The research paper, published in the journal PLOS, can be found here.