Hearing loss increases the risk of dementia by 17 percent by accelerating brain aging, scientists believe.
The risk was 40 percent for people aged 45 to 64, according to a study.
The effort to hear causes the brain to work differently, which can change the structure and cause dementia symptoms.
The brain can divert its resources from other areas to fully understand and process sounds or lip-reading.
Hearing loss is known to be a major cause of memory theft disorder, but scientists are still trying to understand why.
According to Age UK, around 40 percent of people over 50 in the UK have some form of hearing loss.
Hearing loss increases the risk of dementia by 17 percent by accelerating brain aging, scientists in Taiwan believe
Researchers led by National Taiwan Normal University collected data from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan.
The study included 8,135 patients with newly diagnosed hearing loss and an equal number of people without hearing loss for comparison.
Among the 16,270 participants in the study, 1,868 developed dementia.
Among the dementia patients, nearly two-thirds (58.6 percent) had poor hearing, compared to 41.4 percent who did not.
Among those with hearing loss, the incidence of dementia was 19.38 per 1,000 person-years compared to 13.98 per 1,000 person-years in people with intact hearing.
Patients with hearing loss had a higher risk of dementia, especially those from 45 to 64 years old whose risk increased by 121 percent.
Six other conditions were also found as risk factors – cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, anxiety, depression, alcohol-related diseases and head injury.
The team, led by Dr. Chin-Mei Liu, said: & # 39; The risk of HL (hearing loss) increases with age and is associated with lower scores on memory tests and a higher risk of incidental dementia.
& # 39; There are indications that even mild HL values increase the long-term risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
& # 39;Hearing loss is associated with a higher risk of dementia and findings suggest that hearing protection, screening, and treatment can be used as strategies to reduce this potential risk factor. & # 39;
The findings support a whole series of studies that link hearing loss and dementia, for which various neural changes have been suggested as a reason.
The effort to hear better can cause the brain's function to decrease because it speeds up the aging process, the researchers said.
The hearing impaired uses more of the frontal lobe in the brain, which is responsible for language and communication.
The constant effort causes a & # 39; cognitive burden & # 39 ;, which consequently influences processes such as memory and executive function, which helps to perform tasks.
Because a hearing impaired has lost one of his senses, he can compensate for this by using more of his other senses, in particular vision.
This crossover of senses in the brain has been shown to influence the normal functioning of the brain by accelerating the depletion of brain tissue.
Scientists have said that before, although pThe brain of eople is known to decrease with age, the speed of shrinking is faster in people who are deaf.
A team at John Hopkins University in Baltimore performed MRI brain scans of 126 patients and hearing tests for a decade each year.
After analyzing their MRIs in the following years, Dr. Frank Lin and his colleagues published their findings in 2014 – participants whose hearing was already impaired at the start of the study had accelerated the rate of brain deterioration compared to those with normal hearing.
An important theory as to why hearing loss possibly feeds dementia is that it causes people to isolate themselves, which has consequences for mental health.
Action against hearing loss estimates that there are more than 10 million people in the UK with a certain degree of hearing loss or deafness, which is about one in six.
There is no cure for age-related hearing loss and many experts believe that hearing aids can help prevent dementia.
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia and affects around 500,000 Britons. Scientists have still not discovered the cause and there is still no cure.
The focus of research is on developing techniques that can cope with the condition at an earlier stage.
WHAT IS DEMENTIA? KILLER DISEASE ROBT SUFFERED BY THEIR MEMORIES
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a series of neurological disorders
A WORLDWIDE CARE
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a series of progressive neurological disorders, that is, disorders affecting the brain.
There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer's is the most common.
Some people may have a combination of types of dementia.
Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience his dementia in his own unique way.
Dementia is a global problem, but it is most often seen in richer countries, where people are likely to live to very old ages.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?
The Alzheimer's & # 39; s Society reports that there are more than 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, more than 500,000 of whom have Alzheimer's.
It is estimated that by 2025 the number of people with dementia in the UK will increase to more than 1 million.
In the US there are an estimated 5.5 million people with Alzheimer's. A comparable percentage increase is expected in the coming years.
As the age of a person increases, so does the risk of dementia.
The diagnoses are increasing but many people with dementia are still not diagnosed.
IS THERE A CURE?
There is currently no cure for dementia.
But new drugs can slow their progress and the sooner it is noticed, the more effective are treatments.
Source: Dementia UK
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