Dementia risk doubles if people have both vision and hearing loss

[ad_1]

New Scientist Default Image

If people start losing their hearing and vision as they age, they may be at higher risk for dementia

SolStock/Getty Images

Older adults who start losing both vision and hearing may be at an increased risk of developing dementia.

Gihwan Byeon at Kangwon National University Hospital in South Korea and his colleagues studied 6520 people, aged 58 to 101, over six years. At the start of the study, they asked each person to rate their ability to see and hear. The participants also underwent cognitive testing every two years.

Advertisement


The team found that 7.6 per cent of those reporting both vision and hearing loss had dementia at the start of the study, and another 7.4 per cent developed it within six years.

Meanwhile, only 2.4 per cent of people with only vision or hearing loss had dementia at the start of the study, and another 2.9 per cent developed it by the end of the study.

Adjusting for other factors that influence dementia, such as sex, education and income, the researchers estimate that people with impairments of both vision and hearing are twice as likely to develop dementia as people with only one or neither impairment.

The results are “very tantalising”, says Jason Warren at University College London. However, the findings must be considered with caution, he adds, as the hearing and vision loss were self-reported rather than measured directly.

Even so, this could provide insight into the cognitive decline that people with hearing and vision loss experience, says Warren. “We see and hear with our brains, and the first sign of a failing brain in dementia may well be an inability to navigate the complex sensory environments of everyday life,” he says.

Byeon wonders whether the brains of people with both hearing and vision loss might struggle to compensate for the lost senses. Usually, people with impaired vision develop better hearing to compensate, and people with impaired hearing rely more on their vision to help out, he says. “Dual sensory impairment may not be compensated for, making [the brain] more vulnerable to dementia,” he says.

Journal reference: Neurology, DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000011845

Sign up to our free Health Check newsletter for a round-up of all the health and fitness news you need to know, every Saturday

More on these topics:

[ad_2]

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Battlefield 2042 Specialists & launch maps revealed By EA
Latest News

Battlefield 2042 Specialists & launch maps revealed By EA

After months of speculation, EA and DICE have finally unveiled Battlefield 2042, with the reveal trailer already live and a gameplay one set to premiere on Sunday, during Microsoft’s E3 conference. There may be additional information released at that point but for now we already know quite a bit about the new maps and the Specialists, 2042’s version of the […]

Read More
UK Travel Green List & Rules for entering
Latest News

UK Travel Green List & Rules for entering

Red list countries and territories What you must do if you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England. If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days you will only be allowed to […]

Read More
Latest News

Belarus to face Slovakia in 2021 IIHF World Championship opener

Belarus will open the 2021 IIHF World Championship against Slovakia in Riga on 21 May, BelTA has learned. The Group B match will be played at the Olympic Sport Center. The faceoff is at 20.10. Belarus 5 TV channel will broadcast the match live. Ahead of the IIHF World Championship Belarus played a number of […]

Read More