Cochlear Implants Shown to Reverse Cognitive Decline

New research finds that cochlear implants in older people not only help with hearing loss but may also improve thinking and memory. In a study published March 12, French researcher Isabelle Mosnier, of Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris examined the effect of cochlear implants on elderly patients, ages 65 to 85, with profound hearing loss. The study, published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, is important because it is the first to measure the effect of cochlear implants on memory and mental flexibility in elderly patients. Previous research has found older people with …

A Man’s Memory Fades Faster Than a Woman’s

Wives everywhere are doing the “I told you so” dance over a new study that finds that a man’s memory fades faster with age than a woman’s. According to the research, published March 16 in JAMA Neurology, everyone’s memory and brain volume typically begin to decline after age 30, but memory skills worsen faster in men after age 40 than in women. In addition, the portion of the brain that controls memory gets smaller more quickly in men than women …

Good Friends Make for Better Health

I got an email from someone I didn’t know this week, saying how comforting she had found my book, especially the chapter about friendship. ‘‘My ‘friends’ all know that I am deaf,” she wrote. “Some try to look at me more (that doesn’t last too long), some try to talk slower (that doesn’t last long). I am amazed at how impatient they get with me. I am amazed how inconsiderate they are. “I was at a lovely luncheon yesterday in a restaurant …

Recipe for Brain Health: Diet, Exercise, Brain Training

A large new study has confirmed what doctors have suspected for years: that embracing a healthy lifestyle can slow the rate of cognitive aging in older adults at risk of dementia. The study, published this week in the Lancet, found that a combination of a healthy diet, strength training, aerobic exercise, brain games and controlling blood pressure and weight slows mental decline in older people. For this study,  1,260 Finnish men and women between the ages of 60 and 77 who were at …

Your Gym May Be Harming Your Hearing

What’s good for your body is not necessarily good for your ears. Loud music is an integral part of many workout activities — spin classes are a prime example. A recent article in the New York Times found that the noise levels in a spin class at Crunch averaged 100 decibels over 40 minutes, and hit 105 decibels in its loudest five minutes. A staffer for the Hearing Health Foundation found that the decibel level at her gym hit 115 decibels. You can …

Are We Treating Depression When We Should Be Treating Hearing Loss?

Could we be prescribing antidepressants to those who really need a hearing test? A large-scale study published last April based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2010 found a significant correlation between hearing loss and depression, confirming some smaller studies and also anecdotal evidence. What was most interesting was that the link was found only in certain populations. There was no relationship between hearing loss and depression in people who were either culturally deaf or functionally deaf. There was no …