Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

People who go out for a meal at a dynamic restaurant but are not able to hear what their friends are stating may be at increased danger of establishing dementia, a new study cautions.
The failure to find speech in a noisy environment is a trademark of hearing impairment and Oxford academics now believe it is linked to dementia.
Researchers studied data from more than 82,000 individuals who are older than 60 and followed them for eleven years.
During the study 1,285 people established dementia and the researchers discovered people who struggled to hear conversation in a raucous environment were more most likely to get the illness.
” Difficulty hearing speech in background noise is one of the most typical issues for people with age-related hearing problems,” said Dr Jonathan Stevenson, lead author for the study and previous trainee at Oxford.
” This is the first research study to examine its association with dementia in a large population.”
Individuals who performed inadequately in this ability were discovered to be almost twice as most likely to get dementia as somebody who has no trouble hearing good friends at a bar.
Even people who carried out better, however were still “inadequate”, were at 61 percent higher danger.
” Whilst initial, these outcomes recommend speech-in-noise hearing problems could represent a promising target for dementia prevention,” said Dr Thomas Littlejohns, senior epidemiologist in the Nuffield Department of Population Health at Oxford and senior author of the study.
Each participant was asked to identify spoken numbers which were read out in the middle of a background of white sound.
Dr Katy Stubbs from Alzheimers Research UK, stated: “This research study recommends that these hearing changes may not just be a sign of dementia, but a risk aspect that could possibly be dealt with.
” Anyone who has issues about their hearing need to speak to their GP.”
However, the study is not able to conclude whether hearing problems cause dementia, or if they are simply a sign, and specialists are divided on the topic.
Prof David Curtis, Honorary Professor at the UCL Genetics Institute, who was not involved with the study, said:” [The numbers] follow the notion that hearing issues can be a symptom of early dementia however do not trigger dementia.
” If this holds true, then offering individuals with hearing help or comparable interventions would not be anticipated to lower their dementia risk.”
He adds that it is “really possible” that being unable to discern speech is an early symptom of dementia.
” On the other hand, it is quite difficult to see how hearing issues might affect on the systems of neuronal degeneration and cell loss which can eventually manifest in a medical diagnosis of dementia,” he stated.
” Thus, while this study confirms that the conditions are associated with each other I am not persuaded that it develops a causal relationship from hearing problems to dementia.”
Prof Jason Warren, an expert neurologist at the Dementia Research Centre at UCL, called the new findings “both fretting and perplexing”.
The study is published in Alzheimers & & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimers Association.

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