Hearing loss could accelerate the reduction of brain volume, study finds

Share this article:
Hearing loss in older adults might also cause accelerated gray matter atrophy, or a loss in brain volume, a new study shows. This indicates that devices such as hearing aids could be more important than previously thought.

When investigators studied MRI scans of older individuals (ages 60-77) with hearing loss, they noticed reduced volume of gray matter in the auditory cortex. These individuals also displayed less brain activity on functional MRI scans when listening to complex sentences, researchers found. This suggests a connection between hearing ability and brain volume, say researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

"As hearing ability declines with age, interventions such as hearing aids should be considered not only to improve hearing but to preserve the brain," said the study's lead author, Jonathan Peelle, Ph.D. “People hear differently, and those with even moderate hearing loss may have to work harder to understand complex sentences.”

The study is published in the most recent issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.
Share this article:

More in News

Assisted living communities continue to make a terrible first impression on prospective customers, university program finds

Assisted living communities continue to make a terrible ...

Assisted living communities consistently do not make a good first impression with prospective customers, and they haven't improved this skill set in the last decade, according to data from George ...

Latecomers to hospice frequently are male, have certain cancers, Penn researchers find

Men and patients with certain types of cancer are among those less likely to enroll in hospice, suggesting that healthcare providers should focus on presenting these groups with all their end-of-life care options, according to newly published findings.

Nursing homes should think twice before using a well-known tool for diagnosing ...

A familiar tool for diagnosing depression in dementia patients might not be very effective in the nursing home setting, according to findings recently published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.