Bad vision and hearing can be a sign of dementia
The occurrence of many sensory disorders, such as vision and hearing problems, is associated with an increased risk of dementia in the elderly. The combination of such problems significantly increases the risk.
At this year's International Conference on Alzheimer's Association (AAIC) in Los Angeles in 2019. Two studies have shown that vision and hearing difficulties in the elderly are associated with an increased risk of developing dementia.
Two studies showed a similar relationship
Research at the University of Washington & # 39; s School of Public Health has shown that visual or hearing impairment increases the risk of dementia, and the impairment of both senses further increases the likelihood. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, studied the combined effects of smell, touch, sight and loss of hearing. It turned out that even minor impairments were associated in many ways with an increased risk of dementia and deterioration of cognitive functions.
Even a very benign impairment increases the risk of dementia
"We are starting to learn from these new studies that sensory impairments, although very benign, may be associated with an increased risk of dementia, especially if several of them are present simultaneously." Maria C. Carrillo from the Alzheimer's Association in a press release. Further research is needed to confirm these preliminary findings and to determine whether the correction of sensory disorders can reduce the risk of dementia, the expert adds. While recent studies have shown that the loss of sensory functions increases the risk of dementia, little is known about the effects associated with the sensory disorder.
Combined changes in vision and hearing significantly increase the risk
To understand the effect of dual sensory impairments on the development of dementia, researchers at the University of Washington looked at the relationship between hearing and visual impairment and the risk of Alzheimer's disease or other dementia in 2 051 people aged 75 years and older. The researchers found that impairment of vision or hearing increases the risk of dementia by eleven percent and Alzheimer's disease by ten percent. Thanks to combined vision and hearing disorders, the risk of dementia has increased by as much as 86 percent, and for Alzheimer's disease by 112 percent. An impairment of more than one sense seems to synergistically increase the risk of dementia, the authors state. Eye and hearing assessment can help identify older people with a high risk of dementia. Even a small multisensory disorder is associated with dementia and impaired cognitive functions.
The second study confirmed the results
The University of California study looked at a group of 1,810 Americans aged between 70 and 79 years old in a study of health, aging and body composition who did not suffer from dementia at registration. Researchers assessed eyesight, hearing, touch and smell to create a summary multi-sensory result for each participant. Researchers found that participants with lower sensory function values significantly increased the risk of dementia and cognitive decline. The risk of dementia was almost seven times higher among the participants of the lowest quarter of the sensory function in the study population compared to the participants in the top quarter of the assessment, the authors state. This risk was also associated with a slight impairment of the multisensory function. The difference in four points (maximum 12 points) as a result was associated with a 68 percent higher risk of dementia.
Research indicates potential interventions
The results suggest that testing changes in the multi-sensory function can help identify people with high risk of dementia. The multi-factorial sensory function can be measured in routine health care assessments using non-invasive or minimally invasive tests. In addition, some forms of hearing loss and vision can be treated or corrected, providing potential intervention opportunities. However, it should be further investigated whether treatment or prevention of sensory disorders can reduce the risk of dementia. The results of two studies published in AAIC 2019 show that sensory disorders, especially of several senses, are strongly associated with an increased risk of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Research suggests that the assessment of sensory functions by healthcare professionals should play an important role in the diagnosis and care of the elderly and those at risk of developing these diseases. (IN)
More interesting articles on this topic can be found here:
- Loss of sight and hearing may increase the risk of dementia in older people, the International Conference of the Alzheimer's Association (AAIC) 2019 (Proposal: 17/07/2019), AAIC 19