- Published on Friday, 09 May 2014 08:26
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
According to a study published in the journal Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore – AAMSan estimated 422,000 older adults in Singapore suffer from hearing loss and over 100,000 may have disabling hearing impairment.
Decreasing abilities involving sight and hearing are commonly recognized as part of aging, but touch, smell and taste may also become less acute.
The Ear Foundation has released a new report that confirms the benefits the Ida Institute’s My World Pediatric Counseling Tool as a means for hearing care professionals to understand the child’s perspective and enable children to become active partners in their own care.
The 14th annual BAA Congress takes place on 16th and 17th November at the Bournemouth International Centre in Dorset. We offer here a preview of what delegates can expect to see and discuss during the gathering, starting with an interview with the BAA President.
Scientists at Oregon State University (OSU; Corvallis, OR, USA) believe they have made an important discovery in relation to gene therapy for deaf patients by developing a better way to test a specific protein that is essential for hearing.
Sonova has announced its results for the first half of fiscal year 2017/18.
Robert Beiny, an audiologist at the Hearing Healthcare Practice in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, claimed the coveted title of European Audiologist of the Year (AOTY) 2017 during the Evening of Excellence organized by Rayovac in partnership with EHIMA and Audio Infos. The event took place in Nuremberg, during the 62th EUHA Congress, last October.
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On October 17, Widex announces the new WIDEX CUSTOM™ - a completely redesigned in the ear hearing aid with a 40% smaller engine compared to previous models. [ ... ]