Washington : Researchers from Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging have found that as the brain becomes smaller with age, the shrinkage seems to be fast-tracked in older adults with hearing loss.
The findings add to a growing list of health consequences associated with hearing loss, including increased risk of dementia, falls, hospitalizations, and diminished physical and mental health overall.
Previous research from other studies had linked hearing loss with marked differences in brain structure compared to those with normal hearing, both in humans and animals.
In particular, structures that process information from sound tended to be smaller in size in people and animals with impaired hearing.
Overall, the scientists report, those with impaired hearing lost more than an additional cubic centimeter of brain tissue each year compared with those with normal hearing.