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Hearing Loss Linked to More Rapid Brain Shrinkage

Medical News Today reports that a new study published in NeuroImage has shown that older people suffering from hearing loss may show a higher level of brain shrinkage and at a faster rate than those without hearing impairment. Researchers examined 186 individuals between 56 and 86 years old who were required to undergo annual MRI and physical examinations. Results showed that those who had hearing loss at the beginning of the study showed faster and more severe brain atrophy over a period of 10 years. “Additionally, the investigators found that impaired hearing was linked to increased brain shrinkage in certain areas, including the superior, middle and inferior temporal gyri,” structures responsible for “processing speech and sound.” Experts say that though the shrinkage of these areas are not surprising, due to their “lack of stimulation,” it is important to note that “middle and inferior temporal gyri…play a part in the early stages of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Read the article published by Medical News Today.

Read the study in NeuroImage.