If it aint broke, don't fix it, just rip it apart
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7959785.stm Tinnitus cure 'is a step closer' <!-- S BO --> <!-- S IIMA --> The sounds are described as ringing, buzzing, roaring, hissing or whistling <!-- E IIMA --> <!-- S SF --> Scientists believe they are a step closer to curing tinnitus after they have found what could be the root cause of ringing in the ears. Studies show hearing loss can go hand-in-hand with over-excitable nerves within brain areas that process sound. This uncontrolled nerve activity causes the noises that plague people with tinnitus and appears to be down to gene changes, Neuroscience reports. And it raises the hope of treatment by silencing nerve activity, experts say. <!-- E SF --> <!-- S IBOX --> We are extremely excited about the significant progress this research has made Dr Ralph Holme of RNID <!-- E IBOX --> Although the studies carried out by the Australian researchers were in guinea pigs - the animal rather than the human variety - they believe their findings will ultimately help people with tinnitus. Indeed, Belgian neurosurgeon Dirk De Ridder has tried implanting electrodes directly into the brain of sufferers to permanently normalise the overactive neurons. He has had some successful results, although one of his patients repeatedly experienced an out-of-body as a side effect. In the latest study, researchers at the University of Western Australia studied what was happening inside the brain and found increased activity in nerves in the auditory brainstem where sounds are processed. And this was linked to changes in the genes involved in regulating the activity of the nerve cells.