facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Hearing loss accelerates brain shrinkage

While shrinkage was expected in areas associated with hearing and sound processing in a person with impaired hearing, these regions also play a role in memory and sensory integration.
Posted By Ananth Baliga   |   Jan. 23, 2014 at 1:37 PM   |   Comments

http://cdnph.upi.com/sv/em/i/UPI-5241390502231/2014/1/13905044581365/Hearing-loss-accelerates-brain-shrinkage.jpg
Jan. 23 (UPI) -- People with hearing loss have brains that are shrinking faster than people with normal hearing, losing an additional cubic centimeter of brain matter.

While earlier studies have shown that hearing loss causes structural changes to the areas of the brain associated with auditory processing, it was unknown whether these changes occurred before or after the hearing loss.

Using information from the ongoing Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine tracked brain changes in 126 participants over ten years. Each participant completed a physical examination, including a hearing test. At the start of the study, 75 had normal hearing and 51 had impaired hearing.

After analyzing MRI scans taken over the years, researchers found that participants with impaired hearing had accelerated brain atrophy compared to those with normal hearing. They also showed increased shrinkage in certain ares of the brain, such as superior, middle and inferior temporal gyri, structures involved with auditory processing.

The results of the study have been published in the journal NeuroImage.

Shrinkage in these regions of the brain is expected because of the lack of auditory information flowing through it, but these areas are responsible for more the just sorting out sounds and language. They also play roles in memory and sensory integration, involved in early stages of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's.


[Johns Hopkins Medicine]
[NeuroImage]

Follow @antbaliga and @UPI on Twitter.
Contact the Author
© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Why the fake braces trend may be dangerous for users Why the fake braces trend may be dangerous for users
2
Jared Leto 'stopped eating' for his 'Dallas Buyer's Club' role Jared Leto 'stopped eating' for his 'Dallas Buyer's Club' role
3
Gisele Bundchen, Tom Brady drop $14M on Manhattan home Gisele Bundchen, Tom Brady drop $14M on Manhattan home
4
Kelly LeBrock arrested for DUI Kelly LeBrock arrested for DUI
5
Brandi Brandt faces drug charges in Australia Brandi Brandt faces drug charges in Australia
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback