Navigation Links
Hearing loss linked to accelerated brain tissue loss
Date:1/22/2014

Although the brain becomes smaller with age, the shrinkage seems to be fast-tracked in older adults with hearing loss, according to the results of a study by researchers from Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging. The findings add to a growing list of health consequences associated with hearing loss, including increased risk of dementia, falls, hospitalizations, and diminished physical and mental health overall.

For the study, Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues used information from the ongoing Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging to compare brain changes over time between adults with normal hearing and adults with impaired hearing. The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging was started in 1958 by the National Institute on Aging to track various health factors in thousands of men and women.

Previous research from other studies had linked hearing loss with marked differences in brain structure compared to those with normal hearing, both in humans and animals. In particular, structures that process information from sound tended to be smaller in size in people and animals with impaired hearing. Lin, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University schools of medicine and public health, says it was unknown, however, whether these brain structural differences occurred before or after hearing loss.

As part of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, 126 participants underwent yearly magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to track brain changes for up to 10 years. Each also had complete physicals at the time of the first MRI in 1994, including hearing tests. At the starting point, 75 had normal hearing, and 51 had impaired hearing, with at least a 25-decibel loss.

After analyzing their MRIs over the following years, Lin and his colleagues, reporting in an upcoming issue of Neuroimage, say those participants whose hearing was already impaired at the start of the sub-study had accelerated rates of brain atrophy compared to those with normal hearing. Overall, the scientists report, those with impaired hearing lost more than an additional cubic centimeter of brain tissue each year compared with those with normal hearing. Those with impaired hearing also had significantly more shrinkage in particular regions, including the superior, middle and inferior temporal gyri, brain structures responsible for processing sound and speech.

That structures responsible for sound and speech are affected in those with hearing loss wasn't a surprise, says Lin shrinkage in those areas might simply be a consequence of an "impoverished" auditory cortex, which could become atrophied from lack of stimulation. However, he adds, these structures don't work in isolation, and their responsibilities don't end at sorting out sounds and language. The middle and inferior temporal gyri, for example, also play roles in memory and sensory integration and have been shown to be involved in the early stages of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

"Our results suggest that hearing loss could be another 'hit' on the brain in many ways," Lin explains.

The study also gives some urgency to treating hearing loss rather than ignoring it. "If you want to address hearing loss well," Lin says, "you want to do it sooner rather than later. If hearing loss is potentially contributing to these differences we're seeing on MRI, you want to treat it before these brain structural changes take place."

Lin and his colleagues say they plan to eventually examine whether treating hearing loss early can reduce the risk of associated health problems.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stephanie Desmon
sdesmon1@jhmi.edu
410-955-8665
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Grant awarded to help improve problem-solving skills for deaf and hard-of-hearing students
2. Cone beam CT proves better for visualizing some causes of hearing loss at half the radiation dose
3. ASTRO chairman to testify at CARE Act hearing
4. C-Section Babies May Be More Likely to Fail First Hearing Test
5. Children exposed to HIV in the womb at increased risk for hearing loss
6. HIV Exposure Before Birth May Raise Kids Risk of Hearing Loss
7. New screening test to help people with hearing loss in China
8. Suffering of Thousands Prompts FDA Hearing about Hip Implants
9. Not Enough Data to Advise Routine Hearing Screens for Older People: Experts
10. Rewired visual input to sound-processing part of the brain leads to compromised hearing
11. Report: Strategies to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus in soldiers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... Veteran Theresa James awoke to the sound ... forever. , In “Healing Tears,” James depicts every parent’s worst nightmare, when her three ... began journaling conversations and situations throughout my divorce,” James said. “After the death of ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... The world-class designers of Happy Gadget ... novel lifesaving device for the everyday use of parents worldwide. It is a ... read a child’s vital signs, and detect unusual symptoms or physical patterns. This ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... symplrTM, a leading provider of software ... Kyle Allain has joined the company as Vice President and General Manager of ... payor and managed care solutions. , A seasoned executive with more than ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... MAP ... elevated anxiety levels in people with addiction who are served by MAP’s patient ... biosensing wearable device that monitors heart and breath rates to identify anxiety levels ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... As a former supermodel known for ... The good news for single women is that she put all the words in ... April 25th. Joan's insight, personal experiences and sparkling sense of humor have inspired her ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)...  RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII), a clinical-stage ... unmet medical needs, today announced that it will ... development program, based on its proprietary self-delivering RNAi ... (SID) 76 th Annual Meeting.  The SID ... relevant to skin health and disease through education, ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017 Research ... Pharmacogenomics Market Size, Market Share, Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Growth ... report to their offering. ... The global pharmacogenomics market was valued at US$ 7,167.6 ... Mn by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of 5.6% from ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... Cardiology devices segment is anticipated to reach the highest market ... segment is likely to create absolute $ opportunity of a ... By the end of 2027, Cardiology Devices segment is projected ... expanding at a CAGR of 18.4% over the forecast period. ... reprocessed medical devices market in terms of revenue ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: