One in three cases of dementia could be prevented if more people looked after their brain health.*
This is according to a recent international study which is being presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London. It lists nine key, potentially-modifiable risk factors, among which include a lack of education, hearing loss, smoking and physical inactivity.
Hearing loss appears to be one of the more significant factors, particularly when it occurs in middle age. Researchers believe this can deny people a cognitively rich environment and lead to social isolation and depression, which are among other potentially-modifiable risk factors for dementia.
"Although dementia is diagnosed in later life, the brain changes usually begin to develop years before," says lead author Gill Livingston from University College London. "Acting now will vastly improve life for people with dementia and their families and, in doing so, will transform the future of society." The study also examines the benefits of building a "cognitive reserve", which means strengthening the brain's networks so it can continue to function in later life despite damage.
At Hello Hearing, we recommend a hearing assessment every 5 years from age 50, then every 2 years from age 65. Early intervention for hearing loss is not only more easily accepted, but helps to maintain auditory stimulation along the hearing pathway up into the brain.
(*Source: Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care)
Matthew and Jason Le Dilly are brothers who own and run Hello Hearing. They are experienced Masters-level audiologists who operate independently from hearing aid manufacturers. Unlike many other hearing clinics, they offer hearing devices from the full range of reputable manufacturers. For unbiased advice about your hearing health, give us a call today!