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There are many misconceptions about brain illnesses like Alzheimer’s & Dementia & a lot of people would think that both are the same however, they are not. There have been definite links made between Dementia & Hearing Health.
From Johns Hopkins Medicine: Older people with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing, a study by Johns Hopkins and National Institute on Ageing Research (USA), suggests. The findings, researchers say, could lead
to new ways to combat dementia – a condition that affects millions of people worldwide and carries heavy societal burdens.
Although the reason for the link between the two conditions is unknown, the investigators suggest a common pathology may underlie both, or that the strain of decoding sounds over the years may overwhelm the brains of people with hearing loss, leaving them more vulnerable to dementia. They also speculate that hearing loss could lead to dementia by making individuals’ more socially isolated, a known risk factor for dementia and other cognitive disorders. Whatever the cause, the scientists report, their findings may offer a starting point for interventions – even as simple as hearing aids – that could delay or prevent dementia by improving patients’ hearing.
To make the connection, Dr. Frank Lin, MD PhD and his colleagues used data from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging (BLSA). The BLSA, initiated by the National Institute on Ageing in 1958, has tracked various health factors in thousands of men and women over decades.
Compared with volunteers with normal hearing, those with mild, moderate, and severe hearing loss had twofold, threefold and fivefold, respectively, the risk of developing dementia over time. The more hearing loss they had, the higher their likelihood of developing the memory-robbing disease. The study gives urgency to treating hearing loss rather than ignoring it. – healthline.com
Dementia vs. Alzheimer’s
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease aren’t the same. Dementia is an overall term used to describe symptoms that impact memory, performance of daily activities, and communication abilities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease gets worse with time and affects memory, language, and thought. While younger people can develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, your risk increases as you age. Still, neither is considered a normal part of aging. Although symptoms of the two conditions may overlap, distinguishing them is important for management and treatment.
– Source – healthline.com
Symptoms of dementia
It’s easy to overlook the early symptoms of dementia, which can be mild. It often begins with simple episodes of forgetfulness. People with dementia have trouble keeping track of time and tend to lose their way in familiar settings.
As dementia progresses, forgetfulness and confusion grow. It becomes harder to recall names and faces. Personal care becomes a problem. Obvious signs of dementia include repetitious questioning, inadequate hygiene, and poor decision-making.
In the most advanced stage, people with dementia become unable to care for themselves. They will struggle even more with keeping track of time, and remembering people and places they are familiar with. Behavior continues to change and can turn into depression and aggression.
– Source – healthline.com