SAN JOSE, CA September 4, 2014
SoundCure, a medical device company whose mission is to revolutionize the treatment of tinnitus, today announced the results of a randomized, multi-center clinical study that found S-Tones® to be effective at quiet volumes and to be more effective than broadband noise in the reduction of tinnitus, a condition often called, “ringing in the ears.
The study, conducted by leading tinnitus researchers at three top audiology centers, and led by internationally renowned Dr. Richard Tyler of the University of Iowa, found that a majority of patients showed a greater reduction in tinnitus perception using S-Tones, even at soft volume levels below their tinnitus perception, when compared with broadband noise. Accordingly, the study concluded that S-Tones are effective in more patients than broadband noise maskers at reducing tinnitus loudness, and therefore have the potential to be beneficial to a large segment of the tinnitus population.
The full results of the study conducted by Tyler and his peers -- Christina Stocking, Au.D. and Carrie Secor, Au.D. of State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, and Dr. William H. Slattery III, MD of House Research Institute -- appears in an article entitled, "Amplitude Modulated S-Tones Can Be Superior to Noise for Tinnitus Reduction" in this month's American Journal of Audiology (AJA), the leading international peer-reviewed audiology journal.
Ringing in the ears is a chronic condition that often leads to anxiety, depression, hearing difficulties, sleep deprivation and concentration difficulties in patients who are unable to find relief from the persistent sound in their ears. The debilitating effects of tinnitus are often underappreciated as the condition is invisible and therefore doesn't always engender the same level of sympathy as a more visible illness.
As prolonged noise exposure is one cause of ringing ears, veterans, construction and factory workers and musicians are frequent sufferers. However, the condition affects more than those segments of the population. According to the American Tinnitus Association, 50 million people in the U.S. experience tinnitus to some degree. Of these, about 16 million have it severely enough to seek medical attention and about 2 million are so seriously debilitated that they cannot function on a "normal," day-to-day basis.
Traditional sound therapy treatments have attempted to provide relief by masking the tinnitus with an alternative background sound, such as broadband noise, or by helping a patient to perceive the tinnitus as quieter or less frequent.
SoundCure offers its FDA-cleared Serenade® device, which is anchored by S-Tones. This treatment uses soft tones that are modulated at a specific rate, and is designed to provide relief at volumes softer than a patient's tinnitus to reduce their sound burden. S-Tones are customized to each patient's tinnitus, and are unique to the SoundCure Serenade device.
"Tinnitus masking is a well-established approach, and noise is the most commonly used tinnitus masker available, with many hearing aid manufacturers providing some version of it on their hearing aids", said Bill Perry, CEO of SoundCure. "This scientifically rigorous study demonstrates that S-Tones offer significantly better acute relief than noise and can provide relief and tinnitus reduction even at soft volumes. Because they are played softly, in the background, these treatment sounds offer the advantage of permitting the patient to better go about his day-to-day activities while enjoying relief."
The study, commissioned by SoundCure, compared tinnitus perception reduction between Serenade's S-Tones and broadband noise sound, delivered at low volumes. Subjects listened to each treatment for two minutes. In those reporting a reduction in their tinnitus, 2.7 times (270%) the number of patients reported a greater tinnitus reduction with S-Tones than with white noise. In addition, the average tinnitus reduction was 1.9 times (190%) greater for S-Tones compared to noise within two minutes of hearing the tones. Results were compared with previous data and confirmed that even when played at what the patient perceives to be very soft levels, therapeutic S-Tones offer greater tinnitus reduction than noise. The study results were statistically significant (p<0.01).
"These results indicate that a significant number of people could benefit from the personalized sound therapy offered by S-Tones, providing clinicians with a means to advance their treatment of this difficult condition", said Dr. Tyler.
The American Journal of Audiology study can be found as follows: Tyler, Rich et al, "Amplitude Modulated S-Tones can be Superior to Noise for Tinnitus Reduction", The American Journal of Audiology, September 2014, Vol. 23, Issue 3, pp. 303=308.
The handheld Serenade device is currently available to tinnitus sufferers from hundreds of audiologists and hearing healthcare providers across the U.S. and U.K. For more detailed information about this and other clinical studies by SoundCure, please see www.soundcure.com. SoundCure is a subsidiary of Boston-based Allied Minds (LSE: ALM).
Research about products published in the American Journal of Audiology does not represent an endorsement of the product by the journal or by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
About SoundCure, Inc. SoundCure, Inc. is a medical device company whose mission is to revolutionize the treatment of tinnitus and provide relief to the millions of people suffering its effects. For more information, visit www.soundcure.com.
About Allied Minds Allied Minds (LSE: ALM) is an innovative U.S. science and technology development and commercialization company. Operating since 2006, Allied Minds forms, funds, manages and builds products and businesses based on innovative technologies developed at leading U.S. universities and federal research institutions. Allied Minds serves as a diversified holding company that supports its businesses and product development with capital, central management and shared services. More information about the Boston-based company can be found at www.alliedminds.com.
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