Central age-related hearing loss: association with memory loss


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Data from a preliminary study have shown that central age-related hearing loss may be associated with memory loss and mild cognitive impairment.

The results of the study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 70th Annual Meeting to be held in Los Angeles, California in April this year, reports Cision PRNewswire. The team of researchers found that people with central hearing loss were twice as likely to have mild cognitive impairment as people who did not have hearing loss.

The study examined data for over 1,600 participants included in the Great Age Study, a population-based study conducted in the south of Italy. The mean age among the participants was 75 years and their hearing, thinking and memory skills were tested. Participants examined for this analysis had either peripheral age-related hearing loss or central age-related hearing loss.

Of the 192 participants with central hearing loss, 144 (75%) had mild cognitive impairment. Of the 609 with no hearing loss, 365 (60%) had mild cognitive impairment. In contrast, participants with peripheral hearing loss were no more likely to have mild cognitive impairment than individuals without difficulty hearing.

“These preliminary results suggest that central hearing loss may share the same progressive loss of functioning in brain cells that occurs in cognitive decline, rather than the sensory deprivation that happens with peripheral hearing loss,” study author Rodolfo Sardone AuD, EngD, MPh told the American Academy of Neurology. “It’s a problem with perception. Tests of hearing perception should be given to people who are older than 65 and also to people with cognitive impairment.”

Source: Cision PRNewswire; American Academy of Neurology