The journal Clinical Otolaryngology published a mid-July study. The details are summarised below.
Researchers in Australia have provided new evidence that suggests a significant relationship between age-related hearing loss (ARHL) and both cognition and psychological status. They performed a number of tests.
Non-Auditory Tests for Cognitive Function
The research team work at the Ear Science Institute Australia as well as other organizations in Western Australia. The study included a total of 119 participants. They enrolled 54 male patients with a mean age of 66 years and 65 female patients with a mean age of 61 years. They changed the focus of the study. Previous studies have, according to the authors, mainly used verbally loaded cognitive measures to study the association. Hearing loss may affect these results. In order to avoid this type of bias related to hearing loss, they used many non-auditory cognitive tests. These included a depression, anxiety and stress scale which therefore provided more accurate results.
Results and Conclusions
The results showed that hearing thresholds were significantly associated with various factors. These included working memory, paired associative learning scores, as well as depression, anxiety, and stress scores. The authors highlight the importance of non-verbal cognitive tests, especially in patients who have more severe degrees of hearing loss. This is a significant breakthrough.
The article source is: Jayakody DMP, et al. A novel study on association between untreated hearing loss and cognitive functions of older adults: Baseline non-verbal cognitive assessment results. Clinical Otolaryngology. 2017 Jul 15.