Interdisciplinary Tinnitus Research Zurich

Credo

5 - 15% of all people suffer from chronic ear noise (tinnitus).

About one third of all adults will experience tinnitus once in their lifetime.

In the vast majority of cases, no objective cause can be identified as the trigger for tinnitus. Therefore, one usually refers to a subjective tinnitus.

Our credo is to understand the phenomenon of tinnitus and its neurological background in a scientific, evidence-based and transparent way. With the support of neuropsychological and imaging procedures, innovative technologies, as well as national and international cooperations, we are constantly increasing our knowledge and improving the treatment options for chronic subjective tinnitus.

This website summarizes research projects and current technology for the assessment and treatment of tinnitus in Zurich. You can also find out more about the participating institutions, cooperations, partners and sponsors.

Current state of research

Chronic subjective tinnitus develops and then becomes chronic in the brain.

Over the past decade, research has come to this conclusion based on a large number of neuroscientific and psychological studies. In the development and chronification of ear noise, a number of neuronal networks in the brain play a role in that they maladapt following a lesion of hair cells in the inner ear and the associated transient sensory deafferentiation.

As a result of these maladaptive processes, reorganization processes emerge which, supported by emotional impressions, aversive evaluation and attention processes, reinforce the subjective tinnitus.

Interdisciplinary research is currently focused on gaining a better understanding of the formation and interconnection of these networks and on investigating the considerable heterogeneity in pathology and variance in symptoms in patients with tinnitus.

In the first place, this page serves to inform in a transparent way about the latest research and therapy methods in the field of tinnitus and their underlying mechanisms. Furthermore, we welcome the opportunity to present the responsible persons, institutions and national as well as international cooperations.

The research group in Zurich consists of a cooperation between the Psychology Institute of the University of Zurich and the University Hospital of Zurich.

Although the physiological causes and dynamic development of tinnitus in the brain are clear, the neuropsychological mechanisms of chronic ear noise, are still not sufficiently understood. This is largely due to the fact that the subjective intensity of chronic tinnitus is substantially moderated by psychological variables and varies between individuals. The planned foundational research aims to create neurophysiologically-based, individual tinnitus profiles of affected people in order to create a baseline for meaningful interventions. In the long term, we plan to develop neuropsychological therapies based on the individual diagnosis of spontaneous brain activity.

Follow this link to the current research projects here