The quiet early signs of dementia – and what you can do about them

The quiet early signs of dementia – and what you can do about them

It’s well known that memory loss and confusion are a sign of dementia. But scientists are discovering that other subtle – and perhaps surprising – signs can herald the onset of the disease. New research from the University of Oxford suggests that people who go out for a meal at a noisy restaurant but are unable to hear what their friends are saying may be at an increased risk of developing dementia. The data from the study suggests that age-related hearing loss might be related to the onset of Alzheimer’s and other conditions. “While preliminary, these results suggest speech-in-noise hearing impairment could represent a promising target for dementia prevention,” says Thomas Littlejohns of the Nuffield Department of Population Health at Oxford and a lead author of the study. Katie Puckering is information services manager for Alzheimer’s Research UK. “There are two reasons for this potential link,” she says. “The first is that hearing loss might be linked with cellular changes in the brain. But the second is that social isolation has long been known as a risk of Alzheimer’s and …
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