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The Effects of Age-Related Hearing Loss on the Brain and Cognitive Function

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/10/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Trends in Neurosciences
Issue number10
Volume43
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)810-821
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date19/08/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Age-related hearing loss is a common problem for older adults, leading to communication difficulties, isolation, and cognitive decline. Recently, hearing loss has been identified as potentially the most modifiable risk factor for dementia. Listening in challenging situations, or when the auditory system is damaged, strains cortical resources, which may change how the brain responds to cognitively demanding situations more generally. Here, we review the effects of age-related hearing loss on brain areas involved in speech perception, from the auditory cortex, through attentional networks, to the motor system. We explore current perspectives on the possible causal relation between hearing loss, neural reorganisation, and cognitive impairment. Through this synthesis we aim to inspire innovative research and novel interventions for ameliorating hearing loss and cognitive decline.