Cognitive function and hearing loss

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Currently a hot research topic worldwide, Ear Science is part of a large effort to understand the relationship between our hearing and our cognitive skills. Key questions are: What cognitive skills are associated with hearing loss? Does hearing loss contribute to a reduction in cognitive skills, and perhaps even dementia? And, will the use of a hearing aid or hearing implants restore cognitive skills? 

These are important questions, especially as the number of people with hearing loss grows and the number of people with dementia also grows with an ageing population. Our early findings confirm that indeed hearing loss affects some components of cognition.

Our team aims to leverage findings to potentially interrupt cognitive decline by improving hearing through hearing instruments and implants inspiring earlier and more widespread uptake.


Dona Jayakody, Marcus Atlas

Key publications:

Jayakody DMP, Friedland PL, Eikelboom RH, Martins RN, Sohrabi HR. A novel study on association between untreated hearing loss and cognitive functions of older adults: Baseline non-verbal cognitive assessment results. Clinical otolaryngology : official journal of ENT-UK ; official journal of Netherlands Society for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology & Cervico-Facial Surgery. 2018;43(1):182-191.

Jayakody DMP, Friedland PL, Martins RN, Sohrabi HR. Impact of Aging on the Auditory System and Related Cognitive Functions: A Narrative Review. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2018;12(125).

Jayakody DMP, Almeida OP, Speelman CP, et al. Association between speech and high-frequency hearing loss and depression, anxiety and stress in older adults. Maturitas. 2018;110:86-91.

Jayakody DMP, Friedland PF, Atlas MD, Martins RN, Sohrabi HR. Impact of cochlear implantation on cognitive functions of older adults:Preliminary data. Otology & neurotology : official publication of the American Otological Society, American Neurotology Society [and] European Academy of Otology and Neurotology. 2017

Tegg-Quinn S, Bennett RJ, Eikelboom RH, Baguley DM. The impact of tinnitus upon cognition in adults: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Audiology. Accepted for publication April 2016.

Bucks R, Dunlop P, Taljaard DS, Brennan-Jones CG, Wesnes K, Eikelboom RH. The association between hearing loss and cognition in the Busselton Baby Boomer cohort: an epidemiological study of adults born 1946 to 1964. The Laryngoscope. Published online March 2016.

Taljaard DS, Olaithe M, Brennan-Jones CG, Eikelboom RH, Bucks RS. The relationship between hearing impairment and cognitive function: A meta-analysis in adults. Clinical Otolaryngology. Early online Dec 2015. doi: 10.1111/coa.12607