Improved hearing could delay mild dementia

Audiology World News Preliminary findings of a new study on dementia have found that correction of hearing loss with hearing aids may delay the onset of mild dementia.

Earlier studies have shown that people with hearing impairment are significantly more likely to develop dementia in old age compared to those with normal hearing. There is however no evidence to date that correcting hearing can effectively improve dementia. Previous research has also demonstrated a reduction in cognitive decline among study participants who use hearing aids.

This was what motivated researchers from the University of North Texas (USA) to partner with audiologists from Unitron to conduct the study aimed at assessing the possible relationship between improved hearing and cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. The study called ‘Hearing Aids and Dementia’ enrolled adults aged 50 to 90 years with mild dementia who were inexperienced with hearing amplification devices. It measures speech-recognition performance in noise, cognition, and self-reported improvement in quality of life.

If the preliminary positive findings are confirmed, they could have significant implications for aging individuals as they begin experiencing hearing loss. Study completion is expected in late 2015

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