Genetic Risk Factors in Chronic Tinnitus

  • Philipp G. SandEmail author


  1. 1.

    Individual susceptibility to chronic tinnitus is shaped by the interplay of genetic and environmental factors.

  2. 2.

    Whereas many environmental risks including noise trauma and medication side effects are already well understood, heritable risks remain to be specified.

  3. 3.

    Pilot biometric studies in twins have produced heritability estimates of up to 0.39 in subgroups of affected patients but are still burdened with confounders.

  4. 4.

    The current review addresses the quest for molecular genetic biomarkers of tinnitus and the candidate genes examined so far.

  5. 5.

    Of these, genes encoding neurotrophic factors BDNF and GDNF give promising results that warrant further study.

  6. 6.

    Public attitude toward advances in genetic testing for tinnitus is as yet unexplored and deserves consideration in future research.



Tinnitus Association study Familial clustering Genetic risk Heritability Mutation screening Tinnitus susceptibility 



brain-derived neurotrophic factor


ciliary neurotrophic factor


glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor


serotonin transporter gene length polymorphic region


serotonin receptor 1A


serotonin receptor 3A


North-Trøndelag Health Study II (1995–1997)


Prion protein

SLC6A4 (5-HTT)

solute carrier 6A4 (serotonin transporter)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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