Scientists in London are exploring the link between hearing loss and developing dementia.
Dr Sergi Constafreda, a clinical senior lecturer in Brain Sciences at the University College London, is leading the project in partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK.
He hopes that by offering hearing aids to patients with mild cognitive impairment, his team will address the risk of these patients developing depression, which has been associated with dementia.
“We know from research that one in three cases of dementia could be delayed or avoided if we address risk factors, and most of these are lifestyle risk factors associated with this condition,” he said.
“We also know that people who have hearing loss tend to be more socially isolated and that can bring on depression, which is a risk factor in developing dementia.
“So in our project, we are testing the hearing of people who have been diagnosed by NHS memory clinics with mild cognitive impairment.
“So we do the assessment and if we think the level of hearing loss that they have is treatable with hearing aids, we provide them with them.
“We are moving forward and getting the best possible evidence and we are really grateful to Alzheimer’s Research supporters for helping us.”