Gray Matter Declines with Age and Hearing Loss, But Is Partially Maintained in Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Research News' started by Nobody19, Jan 10, 2021.

    1. Nobody19

      Nobody19 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Clubbing
      This is a new research paper by Elouise Koops (winner of the Danny Boy Memorial Fund), published in Scientific Reports.


      Full text: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78571-0

      Abstract
      The impact of age-related hearing loss extends beyond the auditory pathway and impacts brain areas related to cognitive impairment and even dementia. The presence of tinnitus, a sensation of sound that frequently co-occurs with hearing loss, is additionally linked to cognitive decline. Interestingly, structural neuroimaging studies have reported that hearing loss may precede or modulate the onset of cognitive impairment. In this study, we aimed to disentangle the effects of age, hearing loss, and tinnitus on gray matter structure. In total, 39 participants with hearing loss and tinnitus, 21 with hearing loss but without tinnitus, and 39 controls were included in this voxel- and surface-based morphometry MRI study. Whole brain volume and surface thickness measures were compared between the groups. Age-related gray matter volume decline was observed in all groups. Several brain areas showed smaller gray matter volume and cortical surface thickness in hearing loss without tinnitus, relative to controls. This reduction was observed both within and outside of the auditory pathway. Interestingly, these reductions were not observed in participants with tinnitus, who had similar hearing loss and were of similar age. Since we have tools to improve hearing loss, hearing screening may aid in the battle against cognitive decline.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    2. tommyd87

      tommyd87 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      tmj music
      This is really similar to the Taiwanese study stating similar things. The data is very limited and is quite questionable and the statements made in the analysis indicates that it may be an issue. It is interestingly also the case that there are people with tinnitus/hearing loss who also have no impact on their cognitive ability whatsoever too. Thus I would suggest that this study is not definitive in any manner.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Nobody19

      Nobody19 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Clubbing
      Could you give me a link of that study?
       
    4. tommyd87

      tommyd87 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      tmj music
      • Like Like x 1
    5. twa
      Fine

      twa Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017- mild /Sept. 2020-moderate
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      meds/acoustic trauma
      It is disconcerting to read about cognitive decline and hearing loss, especially when my mother died from Alzheimer's. My father has hearing loss, but is doing very well cognitively at 80.
       
    6. tommyd87

      tommyd87 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      tmj music
      Interestingly, I know several people with extreme hearing loss (so much so they have an implant) and yet they tend to perform significantly above the norm cognitively.

      Consequently, I am actually also wondering whether the research link between hearing loss and cognitive ability is actually as authoritative as the research work makes it out to be too.
       
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      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      I haven't read one yet that was able to exclude the risk factors for both (i.e. hypertension for instance is a risk factor for both hearing loss and dementia). So for now we can only say it's correlated and not necessarily causative.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    8. Koz
      Dreaming

      Koz Member

      Location:
      North East England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unilateral sensorineural hearing loss
      My grandfather died in his 80s and had bad enough hearing loss in both ears. Cognitive ability was fine.

      I agree with the point of correlation =/ causation.
       
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