Identifying the culprits: genetics of tinnitus.

Researchers based at King’s College London and the University College London have identified a number of interesting candidate genes which may be linked to tinnitus.

The study used the records of over 170,000 participants in UK Biobank to identify a gene they link to the risk of developing tinnitus. Importantly, the gene was not linked to hearing loss, but seems to have an independent link to tinnitus. Future research on this gene might help to identify mechanisms of tinnitus or develop new treatments.

Understanding the genetic factors underpinning tinnitus is one of the approaches that can be used to identifying the biological pathways of importance, and from this to develop targeted therapies.

“This project’s findings were very interesting and indicate that there are possible genetic risk factors for developing tinnitus,” Deanne Thomas, Chief Executive of Tinnitus UK.

“The study shows the potential benefits that a dedicated Tinnitus Biobank could bring, allowing us to understand the condition much better and answer many other questions that, thanks to chronic underinvestment, so far remain unanswered.”

The researchers were awarded the Shapiro Prize, given by Tinnitus UK to the piece of published research by a UK based author ‘most likely to result in improved treatment or public awareness of tinnitus.’

From the