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A new study, co-funded by Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), has found that hearing loss increased the risk of a precursor to dementia called mild cognitive impairment, but this increased risk is not present in people who wear hearing aids.

hands holding a hearing aid in an older person's ear

The study investigated the risk of cognitively healthy people developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI). It found that hearing loss increases the risk of MCI, but that hearing aid use significantly reduced this risk.

Dr Sarah Bauermeister, DPUK researcher, said:

 

'Our findings provide compelling evidence in support of hearing aid use, but we now need clinical trials to objectively measure hearing aid use in the context of dementia to establish a causal link. We also encourage other researchers to incorporate hearing aid usage as a confounding factor when analysing changes in cognitive function.

This study is published in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, it is the first to investigate the link between hearing aids, cognitive decline, and progression to MCI in cognitively health people.

Read more about the research study on the DPUK website.

Read the full study, The impact of hearing impairment and hearing aid use on progression to mild cognitive impairment in cognitively healthy adults: An observational cohort study.

NIHR OXFORD HEALTH BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTRE NEWS

Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.

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