Sunday, December 11, 2011

New Research on Hearing Loss & Dementia

Contributed by: Stephani Gonzales, SDSU Audiology
As reported in Audiology Today, November 2011

Johns Hopkins University—National Institute on Aging has found that seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing (Lin, 2011).  This research documents that the greater the degree of hearing loss, the greater the risk. Compared with volunteers with normal hearing, those with mild (25–40 dB), moderate (41–70 dB), and severe (>70 dB) hearing loss had, respectively, a twofold, threefold, and fivefold risk of developing dementia over time.  Specifically, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease also increased with diminishing hearing, with the authors noting that for every 10 dB decrement in hearing, the extra risk increased by 20 percent.

A Single Spark of Ingenuity Can Ignite the Inferno of Invention

Contributed by: Stephani Gonzales, SDSU Audiology

Sophono, Inc. have produced the Alpha 1 system, a bone-anchored hearing device, since 2010.

How It Works
  • The Alpha 1 (M), made of an implanted internal plate with two magnets hermetically sealed in a titanium case, requires no abutment or permanent opening of the skin.
  • The Alpha 1 (S) external sound processor contains a bone oscillator and uses a metal disc and spacer to magnetically attach to the internal plate.
  • Auditory stimulation is delivered through the closed skin.
  • Conductive loss or mixed hearing loss: bone conduction thresholds < 45 dB.
  • Single-sided deafness: bone conduction thresholds < 20 dB in the hearing ear.
The Alpha 1 (M) Implant

Clinical Data
  • Data collected on the first 84 implants (57 patients) implanted demonstrates significant improvement in sound field thresholds and word recognitions scores.
  • BC thresholds were between 5 – 43dB and air bone gaps between 18 – 75 dB.
  • Average gain was 38 +/-8db.
  • Average word recognition scores were 2% pre-operatively and 77% post-operatively at 65dB SPL.