August 10, 2015
OtoScience Labs, LLC, of Jacksonville, IL has been awarded a $1.4 million Neurosensory Research Award from the U.S. Department of Defense Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury Program. This grant is being used to test a device for the objective detection of tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, which co-inventors and OtoScience Labs co-founders Jeremy Turner, PhD, and Michael Kinder have developed. The grant brings together OtoScience Labs and a team of scientists and engineers to develop and conduct initial testing of the device. Field testing of the device in active duty military members and veterans will be conducted by our colleagues at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, WA, and James Henry, PhD, at the VA Portland Health Care System. The results of these studies could enable researchers and medical professionals to move closer to development of a research and diagnostic tool for the study of tinnitus.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that 50 million Americans experience tinnitus making it one of the most common health conditions experienced by Americans. For about 1/5 of these people, the symptom is burdensome and disrupts life, and in some cases tinnitus can be disabling and debilitating. Tinnitus is often associated with sleep problems, anxiety, irritability, and concentration problems. These symptoms can produce great personal, social, and financial burden for those suffering, for their families, and for society as whole. Tinnitus is caused by anything that causes hearing loss – most commonly loud noise but also exposure to certain drugs or chemicals. Approximately 30% of marketed medicines have tinnitus as a documented side effect, although usually in a very small percentage of users.
The financial burden of tinnitus is estimated at $26 billion annually by the American Tinnitus Association (www.ata.org). The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that tinnitus has been the most common service-related disability claim by veterans every year since 2008, resulting in an estimated $1 billion annual cost in disability compensation for tinnitus alone.
For more information on tinnitus visit the American Tinnitus Association or American Speech-Language-Hearing
For more information contact OtoScience Labs at 217-243-8088 or visit www.otosciencelabs.com.