TINNITUS TRIAL NOW RECRUITING
A National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)-supported clinical trial is testing a new tinnitus treatment developed by MicroTransponder (microtransponder. com). The implantable device uses nervous system stimuli to rewire parts of the brain.
In a rat model, the treatment approach subdued the activity of neurons, reduced their synchronous firing, and reorganized them to respond to their original frequencies. A small European study in humans also showed encouraging results.
In the new double-blind, randomized trial, two groups of adults who have had moderate-to-severe tinnitus for more than a year and have tried at least one other treatment will participate in daily 2.5-hour sessions of vagus nerve stimulation and audio-tone therapy.
During the first six weeks, one group will receive the test therapy, and the other group will receive a similar therapy that is not expected to be effective. After that phase, both groups will receive the test therapy.
The 30-patient trial is being conducted at the University of Texas at Dallas; University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, in Buffalo, NY; University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA; and one additional site to be announced later this year.
“This trial has the potential to open up a whole new world of tinnitus management,” said Gordon Hughes, MD, NIDCD director of clinical trials.
More information about the trial is available at tinnitustrial.com and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01962558).
COCHLEAR AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS
Eight college students with Cochlear implanted hearing devices were selected to receive scholarships from the company. The scholarships, each worth $2,000 a year for up to four years at an accredited college or university, recognize academic promise, community contributions, and leadership.
The Graeme Clark Scholarship was awarded to Will Andes, a sophomore at the University of Virginia; Jordan Livingston, a freshman at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University; Lesley Miller, a freshman at Rice University; Jessica Williams, a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis; and Conner Svetly, a freshman at Chapman University.
The Anders Tjellström Scholarship was awarded to Jad Chatila, a freshman at Texas Christian University; Caroline Farmer, a sophomore at the University of Arizona; and Andrew Rose, a freshman at North Carolina State University.
AAA, OTICON SPONSOR MISSION
For the third year, the American Academy of Audiology Foundation and Oticon Hearing Foundation are sponsoring Project Amazon, a humanitarian mission to riverfront communities near Parintins, Brazil. Two audiologists will be selected to provide hearing care to children and adults in the region, with their costs underwritten by the foundations.
The volunteer audiologists will work with staff from the nonprofit Oticon Clinic in Parintins, which is supported by the Viva o Som Foundation, an organization focused on providing resources to impoverished communities in Brazil. The Oticon Hearing Foundation will also provide hearing instruments and batteries to support Project Amazon.
Applications are due June 15 and can be accessed at audiologyfoundation.org and oticonhearingfoundation.org.
ADA ADDS PRACTICE TOOLS
The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA)’s new Practice Resource Catalog is designed to support audiologists and their staffs by providing forms, documents, and guidance materials: audiologist.org/practice-resource-catalog. Medical clearance, medical waiver, and advanced beneficiary notice of noncoverage forms will be offered at no cost to members. ADA member discounts are available for additional forms and documents, which can be purchased in bundles or individually.
ENTA'S GLAZER NAMED HEALTH HERO
Robert Glazer, MPA, CEO of ENT and Allergy Associates (ENTA), was named 2014 Health Hero of the Year by the Westchester Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). He is also adjunct professor at Pace University's graduate program in public administration and health policy, and a board member of the Westchester County Association.
Mr. Glazer is responsible for the overall operation of ENT and Allergy Associates, including mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, and physician recruitment. In his 17 years with the practice, it has grown from eight clinical sites and 12 physicians to about 40 offices and 150 clinicians.
NEW BLUETOOTH STANDARD
The European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA) and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) are partnering to develop a new Bluetooth standard for hearing aids by 2016. The partnership aims to improve existing features and create new ones that allow streaming of audio sources at mono speech or stereo music quality.
Several use cases will be supported, including mobile phone calls; stereo audio from multimedia devices, such as music players, radio, and television; and broadcast audio information from public address and announcement systems, noted a news release from EHIMA and the Bluetooth SIG. The new hearing aid profile will be developed to meet the power requirements of hearing aids.
“It is important that we connect to and serve all kinds of smartphones and multimedia sound signals,” said Soren Hougaard, EHIMA secretary general, in the news release. “In order to achieve that, we must define a standard everyone can implement.”
FINAL SCOTT HAUG RETREAT SET
The 30th Annual Scott Haug Hill Country Audiology Retreat will be held in New Braunfels, TX, from Sept. 25-28. Named after Scott Haug, a young audiologist who died in 1984, the conference brings together some 130 audiologists to participate in continuing education and socialize with colleagues. This year's retreat will be the last. More information about the gathering is available at scotthaug.org.
HEARing CRC GRANTED FUNDING
The HEARing Cooperative Research Center (CRC) in Australia was awarded a five-year funding extension worth $28 million from the CRC Program. The funding will be used for research on sound processing; next-generation hearing aids and cochlear implants; evidence-based guidelines for hearing device candidacy, fitting, and rehabilitation; and self-fitting and web-based hearing healthcare delivery models.