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Is There A Link Between Hearing and Dementia?

The Associated Press
Created: May 14, 2019 04:59 PM

After a long and busy life, 91 year old Margaret Lowdon is beginning to feel a bit weary.

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She's determined to live healthily and independently despite her advanced years.

Treating Auditory impairment and CogniTion, or TACT is a pilot random controlled trial using hearing aids for people who've been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment.

It's one of several prevention treatments the World Health Organization is passing judgment on.

Its first ever list of guidelines on dementia warns that each year brings 10 million new cases of the disease.

Lowdon's own daughter, now in her fifties has Alzheimer's.

She is now feeling the strain of old age and admits: "Only well I get tired a lot. So really I don't do as much as I'd like to do."

Our aging world population has set the cost of dealing with age related brain diseases soaring.

WHO calculates the disease will be cost two trillion dollars (US) globally by 2020.

That's why government policy makers and health professionals are being urged not to simply rely on drug discovery, but to start looking seriously at putting resources into promoting healthy living.

A WHO panel reviewed existing scientific studies to decide what to approve and what to deter people from relying on.

It takes a firm stand on vitamin B or E pills, fish oil and other polyunsaturated fatty acids or multi-complex supplements that are promoted for brain health.

Much of the new advice is common sense, and echoes what the Alzheimer's Association and the U.S. National Institute on Aging recommend.

That includes plenty of exercise; treating other health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol and avoiding or curbing harmful habits such as smoking, overeating and drinking too much alcohol.

Evidence is weak that some of these help preserve thinking skills, but they're known to aid general health.

Credits

The Associated Press

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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