Impact of aging on the auditory system and related cognitive functions

a narrative review

Dona M.P. Jayakody, Peter L. Friedland, Ralph N. Martins, Hamid R. Sohrabi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

26 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Age-related hearing loss (ARHL), presbycusis, is a chronic health condition that affects approximately one-third of the world's population. The peripheral and central hearing alterations associated with age-related hearing loss have a profound impact on perception of verbal and non-verbal auditory stimuli. The high prevalence of hearing loss in the older adults corresponds to the increased frequency of dementia in this population. Therefore, researchers have focused their attention on age-related central effects that occur independent of the peripheral hearing loss as well as central effects of peripheral hearing loss and its association with cognitive decline and dementia. Here we review the current evidence for the age-related changes of the peripheral and central auditory system and the relationship between hearing loss and pathological cognitive decline and dementia. Furthermore, there is a paucity of evidence on the relationship between ARHL and established biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease, as the most common cause of dementia. Such studies are critical to be able to consider any causal relationship between dementia and ARHL. While this narrative review will examine the pathophysiological alterations in both the peripheral and central auditory system and its clinical implications, the question remains unanswered whether hearing loss causes cognitive impairment or vice versa.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • age-related hearing loss
  • aging
  • auditory system
  • cognitive functions
  • dementia
  • presbycusis

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