As we all welcome 2016, Audiology Systems is pleased to introduce for the first time our very own blog! Our “OTObiography” (pun intended) will be a bi-monthly offering that will detail articles relevant to the industry, including interesting articles and journal publications, as well as behind the scenes interviews with our staff at Audiology Systems. The purpose of putting this together is singular: considering that the focus of education has always been a driving force in what we do, getting out new and interesting news in the hearing healthcare industry is just one more way to keep striving for that goal. To that end, Audiology Systems also believes in educating our colleagues in hearing healthcare about the people behind our team. By offering personal interviews with our team members, our hope is to show just how many different types of roles, responsibilities, and people go into making this organization one of the nation’s “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For.”
That being said, from a self-education standpoint as an audiologist, I find it fascinating to delve into the world of research and new treatment possibilities. In particular, advancements in assessment are of particular interest as many of the tests in a standard diagnostic test battery have been around almost as long as there has been a profession to diagnose and treat hearing loss. As the previous few years have come and gone, research in regards to tinnitus assessment has shown a trend for studies conducted with fMRI in an attempt to narrow down the root cause of this potentially debilitating disorder. While there have been several studies that have explored this, a recent article published by Hinkley, et al. in October 2015 was able to replicate previous work that showed an increase in the caudate dorsal striatum (referenced as area LC in the study) on fMRI. This in turn further supports the hypothesis that the basal ganglia-centric model of tinnitus (Hinkley et al., 2015). Of note, the authors do discuss the small number of participants in the study, the fact that several other areas of the brain were activated in addition to the LC area, and that further studies were needed to verify how hearing loss affects tinnitus, but that the difference between LC in patients with chronic tinnitus compared to their control group with no tinnitus was significant. You can see the article in its entirety for free here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4623204/
And so, our first ever OTObiography post comes to an end. Stay tuned for more interesting articles, hearing healthcare news and interviews!
Brianna Young, AuD, FAAA, ABA
Clinical Support Audiology Supervisor