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Digital Discovery: Tinnitus and the brain
Associate Professor Yiwen Zheng completed a PhD in Neuropharmacology in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Otago in 1998. She is a Co-Director of the Vestibular and Auditory Research group, a Principal Investigator of the Brain Research New Zealand CoRE and a member of the Eisdell Moore Centre for Research in Hearing and Balance Disorders.
From ringing ears, to ringing brains: Tinnitus, also known as the ringing in the ears, is a debilitating condition affecting the quality of life for many individuals. Tinnitus is also a risk factor in many occupational environments where effective auditory function is needed. With the increasing prevalence of tinnitus due to an increase in the elderly population as well as risky music-listening behaviours in the younger generation, future increases in tinnitus-related unemployment and tinnitus-related accidents in the workplace are likely. This could have a significant negative economic burden on both the New Zealand healthcare system. Unfortunately, no effective treatment for tinnitus is currently available. This is mainly due to the lack of understanding of where and how this phantom sensory perception is generated and perceived. This talk will explore the involvement of different brain structures in tinnitus and the potential to identify biomarkers for tinnitus in order to develop personalized treatment.