University of Newcastle University team of researchers UK According to a report published in the journal Neuron, a new theory has suggested how hearing loss can cause dementia and how to address hearing loss.
“It is challenging to explain how an ear disorder can lead to a degenerative problem in the brain,” said Tim Griffiths, a professor of medical science at the University of Newcastle, author of the study. News release.
The authors wrote in a statement that finding the link between hearing loss and senile dementia has significant implications.
Although it is difficult and impossible to repair cortical degeneration, deafness is widely treated with hearing aids or cochlear implants. Therefore, an understanding of the mechanisms that link the two may have broader public health significance. ”
The researchers considered explanations for how changes in brain function due to a person’s deafness can cause elevated levels of abnormal proteins associated with Alzheimer’s, leading to a neurodegenerative condition associated with memory loss. The researchers looked at three main aspects: the lack of input from sound leads to brain contraction; A fundamental cause of hearing loss and senile dementia; And because brain resources are not available to perform other tasks they must compensate for deafness.
According to the investigation, the team also recommended a new approach to hearing and memory loss focusing on memory centers in the temporal lobe of the brain. Experts have recently found that the temporal lobe is associated not only with long-term memory for events and locations, but also with short-term storage and handling of aural information, according to a news release on the study.
“We recommend a new theory based on how we use what is commonly thought of as the memory system in the brain when we have difficulty listening in real-world contexts,” Griffiths said in a statement.
“This memory system, which engages in hard hearing, is a common site for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Will Chedley, associate professor and associate professor at the University of Newcastle’s Faculty of Medical Sciences. “We propose that altered function in the memory system caused by deafness and the Alzheimer’s disease process stimulate each other.”
The authors report in epidemiological studies that midlife hearing loss is an “independent risk factor for senile dementia” and is responsible for 9% of 47 million cases worldwide.
The team of experts developed the theory linking hearing loss with dementia by articulating the findings of various human studies and animal models, recommending further research to investigate this new theory.