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National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR)

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Robert Folmer, Ph.D.

Telephone:  503.220.8262, x51868
Fax:  503-721-1402

E-Mail:  Robert.Folmer@va.gov
 
 
Current Appointments
Research Investigator, NCRAR
Associate Professor, Dept. of Otolaryngology, Oregon Health & Science University

Overview
Robert L. Folmer earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in biology from San Francisco State University. He received his Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of California, San Francisco. At U.C.S.F., he conducted numerous EEG and evoked potential studies and evaluations for the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, Otolaryngology, and Neurosurgery. He also provided neurophysiological monitoring services during brain and spinal surgeries. In 1997, he joined the Department of Otolaryngology at Oregon Health & Science University where he maintains an appointment of Associate Professor. At OHSU, Dr. Folmer was part of the team that developed the Dangerous Decibels hearing loss prevention education program. He joined the NCRAR in 2007 and serves as Program Manager for the joint VA/Department of Defense Hearing Loss Prevention Initiative. His research projects/interests include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for relief of tinnitus; electrophysiological assessment of auditory processing; evaluation of auditory and cognitive functions in patients who have multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson Disease, or traumatic brain injury (TBI). 

Current Projects

  • Clinical Trial of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Relief of Tinnitus, VA RR&D, 1/1/11-12/31/14
  • Assessment of Auditory Function in Patients with Parkinson Disease, VA RR&D, 7/1/12-6/30/14

Selected Publications

Folmer RL, Carroll JR, Rahim A, Shi Y, Martin WH.  Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) on Chronic Tinnitus. Acta Otolaryngol. 2006;126:96-101.

Folmer RL. Noise-induced hearing loss in young people. Pediatrics 2006; 117(1):248-249.

Folmer RL, Carroll JR. Long-term effectiveness of ear-level devices for tinnitus. Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. 2006;134(1):132-137.

Folmer RL. Ringing-in-the-Ears: Hope and Help for Tinnitus Sufferers. Hearing Health. 2006;22(1):42-45.

Folmer RL. Hearing Loss and High-Speed Dental Tools. Br Dental J 2006; 201:259.

Folmer RL, Carroll JR, Rahim A, Shi Y, Martin WH. Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) on Chronic Tinnitus. Acta Otolaryngol 2006;126:96-101.

Folmer RL. Lateralization of Neural Activity Associated with Tinnitus. Neuroradiology 2007;49(8):689-691.

Griest SE, Folmer RL, Martin WH. Effectiveness of Dangerous Decibels, a School-Based Hearing Loss Prevention Program. Amer J Audiol 2007;16:S165-S181.

Folmer RL. Guest Editor: Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Children. Seminars in Hearing 2008;29(1).

Folmer RL. Hearing Loss Prevention Practices Should Be Taught in Schools. Seminars in Hearing 2008;29(1):67-80.

Folmer RL. Noise-induced hearing loss: past, present and future. Hearing Health 2008;24(2):6-13.

Folmer RL. Hearing Loss Prevention Practices Should Be Taught in Schools. Seminars in Hearing 2008;29(1):67-80.

Folmer RL. Noise-induced hearing loss: past, present and future. Hearing Health 2008;24(2):6-13.
Langguth B, de Ridder D,  Donhoeffer JL, Eichhammer P,  Folmer RL, et al. Controversy: rTMS/tDCS shows efficacy in treating tinnitus patients. Brain Stimulation 2008;1(3):192-205.

Folmer RL, Griest SE, Martin WH. Obsessive-Compulsiveness in a Population of Tinnitus Patients. Int Tinnitus J  2008;14(2):127-130.

Folmer RL. Guest Editor: Noise & Health. 2009;11(42).

Folmer RL. Media coverage of the persistent vegetative state and end-of-life decision-making; Theresa Schiavo's tragedy and ours, too.  Neurology 2009;73:909. http://www.neurology.org/content/71/13/1027.abstract/reply#neurology_el_38571

Folmer RL, Billings CJ, Diedesch AM, Gallun FJ, Lew HL. Electrophysiological assessments of cognition and sensory processing in TBI: applications for diagnosis, prognosis and rehabilitation. Int J Psychophysiol., 2011;82(1):4-15.

Folmer RL.  Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for tinnitus.  Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011;137(7):730-732.

Folmer RL, Shi Y, Theodoroff S. Chronic tinnitus following electroconvulsive therapy. Case Reports in Psychiatry, 2011.   http://www.hindawi.com/crim/psychiatry/2011/607061

Folmer RL, McMillan GP, Austin DF, Henry JA.   Audiometric thresholds and prevalence of tinnitus among male Veterans in the United States: data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2006. JRRD, 2011;48(5):503-516.

Folmer RL. Implants Can Improve Tinnitus, But Most Offer No Quick Fixes. Hearing Journal. 2012;65(3):42-48.
http://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/Fulltext/2012/03000/Breaking_News__Implants_Can_Improve_Tinnitus,_but.8.aspx

Folmer RL, Saunders GH. Guest Editor: Proceedings of the 5th International NCRAR Conference – Expanding Our Horizons: Medical Conditions and Audiology. Seminars in Hearing. 2012;33(3):213-215.

Folmer RL, Hutter MM, Lilly DJ, Shannon J, Casiana L, Wilmington D, Lewis MS, Billings CJ, Krisky C, Berlow Y, Pollaro J, Rooney W, Bourdette D.  Electrophysiological measures of auditory processing in patients with multiple sclerosis. Seminars in Hearing. 2012;33(3):274-282.

Folmer RL, Saunders GH, Dann SM, Griest SE, Porsov E, Fausti SA, Leek MR.  A Computer-based Hearing Loss Prevention Education Program for Veterans and Military Personnel. JRRD. 2012;49(4):vii-xv.
http://www.rehab.research.va.gov/jour/2012/494/folmer494.html

Theodoroff SM, Folmer RL.  Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) as a Treatment for Chronic Tinnitus: A Critical Review. Otology & Neurotology, in press.

Chapters

Shiley SG, Folmer RL, McMenomey SO. Tinnitus and Hyperacusis. In: Cummings CW, et al (eds.) Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery St. Louis: Mosby Year Book, 2005; 2832-2847.

Folmer RL, Martin WH, Shi Y, Edlefsen LL. Lifestyle Changes for Tinnitus Self- Management. In: Tyler RS (ed), Tinnitus Treatment: Clinical Protocols New York: Thieme Publishing, 2005; 51-64.

Folmer RL, Martin WH, Shi Y, Edlefsen LL. Tinnitus Sound Therapies. In: Tyler RS (ed), Tinnitus Treatment: Clinical Protocols New York: Thieme Publishing, 2005; 176-186.

Folmer RL, Martin WH. Mechanisms and Treatment of Tinnitus. In: Valente M, Hosford-Dunn H, Roeser R (eds), Audiology: Treatment New York: Thieme Publishing, 2008, 485-505.

Presentations

Dangerous Decibels – American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Board of Governors Meeting, Washington D.C., March 4, 2006

Hearing and Auditory Neuroscience – International Listening Association 27th Annual Convention, Salem, Oregon, April 21, 2006

Auditory Symptoms Resulting from Head or Neck Injuries – National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland, May 25, 2006

Resources to Facilitate Classroom Instruction of Hearing Loss Prevention. Conference: Noise-induced Hearing Loss in Children at Work and Play, Cincinnati, October 19-20, 2006

Tinnitus Evaluation, Management and Research. Gerald Studebaker Lecture, University of Memphis, April 13-14, 2007.

Tinnitus Management and Research. Phonak Virtual Conference, May 22, 2007. http://www.hearingseminars.com/p21912003 

Tinnitus Evaluation and Management – Grand Rounds, Department of Otolaryngology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, June 18, 2007

Tinnitus Evaluation and Management. Canadian Audiology Association, Kelowna, B.C., Canada, September 14, 2007.

Tinnitus Treatment and Research: Controversies and Conundrums - National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland, OR  November 21, 2008.

Development of a Computer-based Hearing Loss Prevention Education Program for Veterans and Military Personnel – Joint Defense Veteran Audiology Conference, Orlando, FL, February 23, 2010.

Evoked Potential Measures of Central Auditory Processing in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis – American Academy of Audiology 22nd Annual Convention, San Diego, CA, April 16, 2010.

Auditory Dysfunction Associated with TBI – Latest Advances in Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury Issues, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, September 24, 2010. 

Development of a Portable Device for Assessment of Auditory Processing – ASHA Annual Convention, Philadelphia, November 19, 2010.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A Treatment for Tinnitus? American Academy of Audiology 23nd Annual Convention, Chicago, April 8, 2011.

A Multimedia Hearing Loss Prevention Program. American Academy of Audiology 23nd Annual Convention, Chicago, April 8, 2011.

Auditory Dysfunction in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. NCRAR Fifth International Conference, Portland, OR, October 13, 2011.

Auditory Function in Individuals with and without Multiple Sclerosis. Department of Neurology Grand Rounds, Oregon Health & Science University, October 26, 2011. 

Chronic Tinnitus as Phantom Auditory Pain: the Intersection of Audiology and Psychology. Audiology Grand Rounds, Portland VA
Data from a computer-based hearing loss prevention education program for Veterans and Military Personnel.  National Hearing Conservation Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 23-25, 2012. 

Tinnitus Treatment and Research: Controversies and Conundrums.  Audiological Society of Australia webinar, December 10, 2012.