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BTA - Glasgow Tinnitus Support Group
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BTA - Glasgow Tinnitus Support Group (21/11/17)

Next Meeting of the BTA – Glasgow Tinnitus Support Group:

Tuesday, 21st November 2017, 6.30-8.30pm.

About the group

The group is run by Alan Hopkirk, Clinical Director at The Invisible Hearing Clinic in Glasgow.

Where does the group meet?

The Pentagon Centre

Suite 316, 3rd Floor

36 Washington Street

Glasgow, G3 8AZ

When does the group meet?

Next Meeting: Tuesday, 21st November 2017, 6.30-8.30pm.

The meeting will be free but a suggested donation of £5 per person to support the group would be appreciated.

Free tea/coffee/water and biscuits also supplied, with a chance to talk to others affected by Tinnitus, Hyperacusis and associated conditions.

Off street free parking available.

How to find out more

If you are interested in attending please contact Alan or Katrina on 0141 226 2268 or email btaglasgow@invizear.com.

BTA - Glasgow Tinnitus Support Group webpage (http://www.invizear.com/bta-glasgow-support-group/)

BTA - Glasgow Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/BTAGlasgowTinnitusSupportGroup/)

BTA - Glasgow Tinnitus Support Group (https://www.tinnitus.org.uk/contacts/102)

BTA - Glasgow Support Group Google+ page (https://plus.google.com/108606762057585175155)

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Press Release 28 April 2016

A new group to support local people with tinnitus is being formed by Alan Hopkirk, Clinical Director for The Invisible Hearing Clinic. The first meeting will take place on Tuesday, 17th May 2016, 6-8:30pm at The Pentagon Centre (Third Floor), 36 Washington Street, Glasgow, G3 8AZ.

Dave Carr, BTA Volunteering and Engagement Manager comments: “Being among people who have the problem, listening to their experiences and how they have managed to handle things, is a tremendous help for the individual. I witness this first hand when attending group meetings. It is amazing seeing the difference it makes to people, especially those who have recently been diagnosed.”

Tinnitus is defined as the experience of sounds with no external source, most commonly ringing or buzzing, but sometimes experienced as whooshing, clicking or even music. Many people aren’t troubled by sounds they hear, but for around 10%, the condition has a significant impact on their quality of life, often linked to stress, anxiety or sometimes depression.

Dave adds: “Tinnitus can be an isolating condition, with friends and family struggling to understand how it feels to adapt to the presence of loud or persistent noises. Some people choose to bring a partner or family member to the meetings, which can often help both parties understand more about the condition and the experiences or behaviours it can bring.”

Alan Hopkirk comments,

“The BTA is a sound source of information regarding Tinnitus which is why we are proud to be corporate sponsors, however there is a lot of misinformation out there which can be very damaging to someone experiencing tinnitus. I hope that by working together and offering support and information we can make a positive difference to people struggling with tinnitus in our local community.”

If you would like to find out more, please contact us btaglasgow@invizear.com or on 0141 226 2268.
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Next Meeting of the BTA – Glasgow Tinnitus Support Group:

Wednesday, 28th June 2017, 6.30-8.30pm.

About the group

The group is run by Alan Hopkirk, Clinical Director at The Invisible Hearing Clinic in Glasgow.

Where does the group meet?

The Pentagon Centre

Suite 316, 3rd Floor

36 Washington Street

Glasgow, G3 8AZ

When does the group meet?

Next Meeting: Wednesday, 28 June 2017, 6.30-8.30pm.

The meeting will be free but a suggested donation of £5 per person to support the group would be appreciated.

Free tea/coffee/water and biscuits also supplied, with a chance to talk to others affected by Tinnitus, Hyperacusis and associated conditions.

Off street free parking available.

How to find out more

If you are interested in attending please contact Alan or Katrina on 0141 226 2268 or email btaglasgow@invizear.com.

British Tinnitus Association – Glasgow Tinnitus Support Group webpage
https://www.tinnitus.org.uk/glasgow-tinnitus-support-group

British Tinnitus Association – Glasgow Tinnitus Support Group Google+ page
https://plus.google.com/108606762057585175155
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New study on the association between untreated hearing loss and cognitive function

In a recent study with results published in mid-July in the journal Clinical Otolaryngology, researchers working in Australia have provided new evidence suggesting that there is a significant relationship between age-related hearing loss (ARHL) and both cognition and psychological status.

The team of researchers, working at the Ear Science Institute Australia and other organizations in Western Australia, carried out their study including a total of 119 participants. They enrolled 54 male patients (mean age = 66 years) and 65 female patients (mean age = 61 years). Previous studies have, according to the authors, mainly used verbally loaded cognitive measures to study the association and these may be affected by hearing loss. To avoid this type of bias related to hearing loss, they used a battery of non-auditory cognitive tests along with a depression, anxiety and stress scale.

Results showed that hearing thresholds were significantly associated with working memory, paired associative learning scores, as well as depression, anxiety, and stress scores. The authors highlight the importance of non-verbal cognitive tests, especially in patients who have more severe degrees of hearing loss.

Source: Jayakody DMP, et al. A novel study on association between untreated hearing loss and cognitive functions of older adults: Baseline non-verbal cognitive assessment results. Clinical Otolaryngology. 2017 Jul 15.

http://www.audiology-worldnews.com/research/2388-new-study-on-the-association-between-untreated-hearing-loss-and-cognitive-function

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Columbia University invents mind-controlled hearing aid

It could mean good news for the hard of hearing who want to focus on an entertaining guest at a party. Or possibly bad news for those who would really prefer not to know what’s going on at a hellish dinner.

Either way, scientists have invented a hearing aid that is controlled by the mind and is able to filter out background noise in loud places and focus on one strand of conversation.

Engineers at Columbia University in New York are developing technology that constantly monitors the brain activity of the wearer to determine if they are conversing with a specific person and then amplifies that voice.

Existing hearing aids can suppress background noise but are unable to pick out to which person a user is listening in a noisy environment.

However, a breakthrough in auditory attention decoding (AAD) — how humans sift sounds — means that researchers are closer to developing a hearing aid that can cut through multiple conversations and background noise.

The team of engineers at Columbia developed a system that receives a single audio channel containing a mixture of speakers.

The system then automatically separates out the individual speakers and uses the listener’s neural signals to determine which one is being listened to, and amplifies it.

Nima Mesgarani, associate professor of electrical engineering, said that the entire process was achieved within ten seconds.

“This work combines the state of the art from two disciplines: speech engineering and auditory attention decoding,” he said.

“We were able to develop this system once we made the breakthrough in using deep neural network models to separate speech.”

The project builds on earlier research by Professor Mesgarani’s team that discovered it was possible to tell a listener’s target by tracking the nerves’ responses in the brain.

“Translating these findings to real-world applications poses many challenges,” James O’Sullivan, a research scientist working with Professor Mesgarani, said. “Our study takes a significant step towards automatically separating an attended speaker from the mixture.”

Professor Mesgarani added: “Our system demonstrates a significant improvement in both subjective and objective speech quality measures — almost all of our subjects said they wanted to continue to use it.

“Our novel framework for AAD bridges the gap between the most recent advancements in speech- processing technologies and speech prosthesis research and moves us closer to the development of realistic hearing aid devices that can automatically and dynamically track a user’s direction of attention and amplify an attended speaker.”

The research, carried out in collaboration with Columbia University Medical Center’s department of neurosurgery, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine, and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, is published in the Journal of Neural Engineering.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/columbia-university-invents-mind-controlled-hearing-aid-m2gwpngst?shareToken=b8bb9e8cfcf73d42e698c877a4a212f5


Mr Alan Hopkirk, Clinical Director of The Invisible Hearing Clinic says “Exciting but not actually new, as the article states at present there is a ten second delay which would be unacceptable to most users but also the size, research subjects by their very nature tend to be quite happy trundling a shopping trolley or back-pack around with them but today's patient want something the size of a pea!”.

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How Prolonged Exposure to Sweet, Blessed Silence Benefits the Brain (By Melissa Dahl)

I write this to the soundtrack of a literal chainsaw; there are men at work outside my window attempting to – well, I’m not exactly sure what they’re attempting to do. Cut down a tree? Cut down branches of a tree? Whatever it is they’re doing, they are making an awful lot of noise as they do it.
Much has been written about “noise pollution,” a phrase coined in the 1960s, when scientists discovered that everyday exposure to the loudness of highways and airports was linked with a variety of health concerns: heart disease, sleep problems, high blood pressure, and, least surprisingly, hearing loss. And, as Maggie Koerth-Baker reminds in FiveThirtyEight this week, sounds can become so intense that they can even cause much more immediate damage, strong enough to tear a hole in your eardrums or even bowl you right over.

So: Excessive noisiness is bad. Its opposite — silence — has largely been understood for what it is not; it is not noise. It is the absence of sound. If too much exposure to loud sounds is bad for us, lack of sound means a lack of that physical harm caused by noise pollution. Silence is neutral. But as science writer Daniel A. Gross writes in a feature included in a recent Nautilus series on noise, some recent research is suggesting that prolonged and repeated exposure to silence may result in improved health, just like prolonged and repeated exposure to noisiness can result in poorer health.
What’s especially fascinating about the scientific study of silence is how much of it came about by accident. For many of the researchers Gross interviews for his piece (which, by the way, was republished by Nautilus this week, but originally posted in 2014), findings about the benefits of quiet came as a surprise — several of them initially set out to study the neuroscience of sound, or of music in particular. One mouse study led by Imke Kirste, a biologist at Duke University, found that “even though all the sounds had short-term neurological effects, not one of them had a lasting impact,” Gross writes. “Yet to her great surprise, Kirste found that two hours of silence per day prompted cell development in the hippocampus, the brain region related to the formation of memory involving the senses.”

This was, of course, a study in mice; mice, in case you haven’t heard, are not people. It’s early days in this line of research, in other words, but some scientists are hopeful that these findings may lead the way to some potential treatments for people with disorders associated with a slowing of cell growth in the hippocampus, like dementia or depression. But so far, at least, the neuroscience of silence seems to be suggesting this: To the brain, quiet is much more than what it isn’t.

http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/07/scientists-are-discovering-the-neural-benefits-of-silence.html?utm_sq=fedukys3us

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Nine lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk, study says
One in three cases of dementia could be prevented if more people looked after their brain health throughout life, according to an international study in the Lancet.
It lists nine key risk factors including lack of education, hearing loss, smoking and physical inactivity.
The study is being presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London.
By 2050, 131 million people could be living with dementia globally.
There are estimated to be 47 million people with the condition at the moment.
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Nine factors that contribute to the risk of dementia
• Mid-life hearing loss - responsible for 9% of the risk
• Failing to complete secondary education - 8%
• Smoking - 5%
• Failing to seek early treatment for depression - 4%
• Physical inactivity - 3%
• Social isolation - 2%
• High blood pressure - 2%
• Obesity - 1%
• Type 2 diabetes - 1%
These risk factors - which are described as potentially modifiable - add up to 35%. The other 65% of dementia risk is thought to be potentially non-modifiable.
Source: Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40655566

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Can YOU dry your hair in 2 minutes? Coming in at 108 decibels, you shouldn’t be exposed to this dryer’s noise for more than 2 mins at a time

https://twitter.com/BBCWatchdog/status/887761349060722688

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The surprising causes of dementia

One in three cases of dementia could be prevented if more people looked after their brain health throughout life, according to published study in medical journal The Lancet.

Gill Livingston, professor of psychiatry at University College London, explains on the Today programme why education, hearing loss & high blood pressure are key factors in developing the disease.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/health-40666419/the-surprising-causes-of-dementia

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1st World Tinnitus Congress and the XII International Tinnitus Seminar

The 1st World Tinnitus Congress and the XII International Tinnitus Seminar (ITS) took place on 22-24 May 2017 in Warsaw, Poland and our Clinical Director, Alan Hopkirk attended the event.

The World Tinnitus Congress is an initiative grown from many discussions with researchers in the field of tinnitus, participants and faculty members of previous ITS conferences. It highlights the scope of the scientific subject area covered by the International Tinnitus Seminars which since its conception in 1979, has far outgrown the frames of a seminar meeting. Today it is a significant intercontinental event on a global map of scientific meetings in hearing science.

Tinnitus research is of increasing social and clinical interest, as the number of suffers grows all over the world. There is a demand for strategies and therapies to prevent and alleviate tinnitus. The primary aim in organizing this congress is to bring together the experienced and up-and-coming scientists and clinicians to actively discuss the latest ideas, results and challenges by sparking insights that can be applied in research and clinical work.

Alan Hopkirk will give detailed review on this event on Wednesday, 28/06/2017 during the BTA – Glasgow Tinnitus Support Meeting. For more information about the meeting please visit http://www.invizear.com/bta-glasgow-support-group/.

T: 0141 226 2268 E: hear@invizear.com
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Our “hearing guru” on BBC Radio Scotland

Our Clinical Director, Alan Hopkirk had the pleasure to be invited to go on Stephen Jardine show on BBC Radio Scotland on Friday, 02/06/2017 to talk about Tinnitus.

Extract from the BBC Programme:
“Do you suffer from Tinnitus? 10% of the population suffer from persistent tinnitus and nearly one in three of us will experience it during our lives. Stephen wants to hear what techniques do you adopt to help you through day to day?”

To listen to Mr Hopkirk’s interview, click on this link (round 2:44 into the show)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08r31fp

For more information please call us on 0141 226 2268.
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