About the Project
The aims of this project are:
• To investigate the relationship between oestrogen, hearing loss and tinnitus (the perception of a phantom sound)
• To determine the effect of oestrogen on tinnitus.
The hypotheses are:
• Oestrogen levels affect the onset of hearing loss and tinnitus throughout the lifespan. Women would have milder losses and tinnitus than men, with a later onset that correlates with age at menopause.
• Changes in oestrogen levels during the ovarian cycle influence the severity of tinnitus before menopause. Changes in tinnitus caused by fluctuations in central gain will be related to the ovarian cycle phase and to oestrogen levels.
In the first project, there will be a quantitative assessment of the relationship between sex, age at menopause and severity of loss/tinnitus in the large-scale UK database Biobank. Projects 2 and 3 will include weekly estimates of: central gain and spontaneous activity for listeners with and without tinnitus; tinnitus severity using questionnaires, controlling for anxiety; phase in the ovarian cycle using menses and ovulation dates and oestrogen levels.
The expected outcome of this project is increased understanding of the protective influence of oestrogen on the auditory system, and the mechanisms underlying tinnitus and to development of a new objective method to study variations of central gain within a given subject during the ovarian cycle. It also has the potential to influence a new generation of tinnitus interventions based on hormonal therapies.
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject. Candidates with experience in Audiology or with an interest in hearing are encouraged to apply.
For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website (https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/). Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor.
For international students we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences. For more information please visit www.internationalphd.manchester.ac.uk
As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.
Marmel F, Perugia M, Kluk K (2018) Exploring the Use of Iterative Recordings of Frequency-Following Responses to Uncover Hidden Hearing Loss. Acta Acustica united with Acustica. 104, 5, p. 878-882; DOI: 10.3813/AAA.919257
BinKhamis G, Bell S, Prendergast G, O’Driscoll M, Kluk K (2018) Speech Auditory Brainstem Responses: Effects of Background, Stimulus Duration, Consonant-Vowel, and Number of Epochs. Ear and Hearing. Ear Hear. doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000648
G Prendergast, W Tu, H Guest, R Millman, Kluk K, S Couth, K Munro, C Plack (2018) Supra-threshold auditory brainstem response amplitudes in humans: Test-retest reliability, electrode montage and noise exposure. Hearing Research, 364, 38-47; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heares.2018.04.002
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