Thanks to the generosity of Les Paul Foundation and other charitable individuals, Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) funds groundbreaking research to advance our scientific understanding of tinnitus.

Grants focused on tinnitus are awarded annually to promising scientific investigators through the Emerging Research Grants (ERG) program.



Julia Campbell, Au.D., Ph.D., and colleagues have observed that central inhibition is atypical in adults with typical hearing and tinnitus. The cause of decreased inhibition in this population remains unknown, but genetic factors may play a role. They are currently investigating the use of sensory gating as an objective clinical measure of tinnitus, particularly in adults with hearing loss, as well as the networks in the brain that may underlie dysfunctional gating processes. Learn more.

Richard Tyler, Ph.D., and colleagues validated the effectiveness of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in improving the quality of life of patients with tinnitus. The tDCS study outcomes were change in magnitude estimates of loudness (loudness), tinnitus-related distress (distress), and Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI). Learn more.

Jos Eggermont Ph.D., examined the differing neural biomarkers of drug-induced and noise-induced tinnitus in both animal models and humans. He observed different spontaneous firing rates (SFR) in each and concluded the differences in what is recorded in animal models with those obtained in humans makes a direct approach to the heterogeneity of tinnitus difficult. Learn more.

Zhengquan Tang, Ph.D., and fellow researchers discovered that neurons known as fusiform cells become hyperactive and hypersensitive to stimuli when exposed to serotonin, thereby worsening tinnitus. If the scientists can determine a way to deactivate those channels, they may be able to allow the beneficial effects of antidepressants while limiting the severity of tinnitus. Learn more.

Richard Tyler, Ph.D., and team studied dietary supplements to conclude they should not be recommended to treat tinnitus, even though the use is common, particularly with Ginkgo biloba, lipoflavonoids, magnesium, melatonin, vitamin B12, and zinc. It is likely that some supplements will help with sleep for some patients. Learn more.

Xiping Zhan, Ph.D., and colleagues posit that the toxicity of quinine may be the underlying mechanism for the movement disorders of cinchonism or quinism and may play a role in tinnitus modulation. Quinine is an antimalarial drug that is toxic to the auditory system by commonly inducing hearing loss and tinnitus. Learn more.

Richard Tyler, Ph.D., and other researchers determined that tinnitus therapy sounds delivered through a cochlear implant (CI) can be acceptable and provides relief for some tinnitus sufferers. In the study, sxteen participants were asked to rate the overall acceptability of each sound and to write the description of the sound they perceived. Learn more.

Margaret Jastreboff, Ph.D., and team compared the effectiveness of tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) with sound generators or with open ear hearing aids in the rehabilitation of tinnitus. They found these treatments to be equally effective with statistically indistinguishable results. Learn more.