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Hearing technologies could play an important role in delaying dementia

EVENT

© The International Society of Audiology

New research into understanding how the brain adapts and improves its hearing abilities through the use of hearing technologies could play an important role in the future management of dementia. The use of devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants to delay and/or reverse cognitive decline in conditions such as dementia was one of the topics discussed at the XXXII World Congress of Audiology in Brisbane this week.

Professor Stephen Crain (picture), from the Macquarie University describes central auditory plasticity as the adaptability of the brain’s cerebral cortex to process sound more effectively in response to new stimuli:“We now know the brain has a remarkable ability to regrow and adapt itself to process new kinds of information and relearn tasks, especially in early childhood, but across the lifespan.” The peak of brain’s central auditory plasticity occurs in children between the ages of two and four. It’s before this critical time that infants with hearing loss benefit most from being fitted with a hearing device so that the regions of the brain that processes sound information and language can develop most optimally.

“Although the brain has its greatest plasticity in very young children, it continues to have remarkable adaptive abilities at all ages." Preliminary research supports the notion that adults with hearing aids develop new neural pathways in the brain to more fully utilise the information created by these devices. To some extent this conclusion is supported by anecdotal evidence that many adults who are initially unhappy with their hearing devices suddenly report dramatic improvement a month or so later.“We don’t know yet exactly what is happening in the brains of these adults, but their observations suggest that perceptual processing changes are taking place in the brain as it adjusts to the information provided by hearing devices,” Professor Crain explained.

“It’s early days but as the degree of hearing loss is highly correlated with the risk of dementia it seems highly likely that intervention with a hearing device to restore hearing in adulthood could assist in delaying the onset of dementia.”

Source: International Society of Audiology

J.E.

Adding crizotinib to radiation therapy may reduce hearing damage
Adding crizotinib to radiation therapy may reduce hearing damage

Therapy

© sanjeri - istock.com

Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston recently published the results of a mouse model study showing a new therapeutic combination that may be of interest in patients with neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) and other patient groups.

A reminder of the commonly used drugs that are potentially ototoxic
A reminder of the commonly used drugs that are potentially ototoxic

Ototoxicity

© Mukhina1 - istock.com

Pharmacy Times, a full-service pharmacy media resource, recently reported on the main drugs that can cause damage to hearing, and highlighted their mechanisms of action.

Awareness on children and hearing loss in Taiwan
Awareness on children and hearing loss in Taiwan

Awareness

©Yagi Studio

The Taipei Times recently ran an article on the warning signs that parents need to watch out for that may indicate potential hearing loss in their children.

Graeme Clark and Anders Tjellström 2018 scholarships revealed
Graeme Clark and  Anders Tjellström 2018 scholarships revealed

Scholarships

Cochlear has revealed the winners of the 16th annual Graeme Clark and the seventh annual Anders Tjellström scholarships.

GN Store Nord A/S: annual financial report
GN Store Nord A/S: annual financial report

Results

© baona - istock.com

GN Store Nord A/S recently published its annual financial report showing double-digit growth in revenue and earnings.

Phonak and Advanced Bionics announce MultiBeam Technology
Phonak and Advanced Bionics announce MultiBeam Technology

Speech recognition

© Sonova

Phonak and Advanced Bionics announce today a breakthrough in new microphone technology, that will help people with hearing aids and cochlear implants hear better especially in noisy environments.

Evidence for efficacy of a wearable tinnitus patch
Evidence for efficacy of a wearable tinnitus patch

Tinnitus

© AntonioGuillem - istock.com

Researchers working in Sweden at the Sickla ENT-centre in Stockholm and the Citysjukhuset hospital in Gothenburg recently published the results of a double-blind, randomized study of a tinnitus patch called Antinitus carried out in 2016/2017.

Company Directory

New products

Grason-Stadler releases AMTAS FlexGrason-Stadler releases AMTAS Flex

GSI announced the release of AMTAS Flex™, a new tablet-based hearing evaluation tool designed with the busy clinician in mind.  [ ... ]

GN announces GN FalCom for defense and security forcesGN announces GN FalCom for defense and security forces

On January 29, the GN Group presents GN FalCom, a fully-fledged hearing protection solution enabling defense and security forces to hear more, do more and be more.  [ ... ]

ConnectClip newest connectivity device for Oticon Opn™ConnectClip newest connectivity device for Oticon Opn™

Oticon introduces ConnectClip, a state-of-the-art all-in-one wireless Bluetooth microphone and headset for Opn™. [ ... ]