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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764


LOPES, Leonardo da Costa et al. Prevalence of hearing impairment in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Dement. neuropsychol. [online]. 2007, vol.1, n.3, pp.253-259. ISSN 1980-5764.

The correlation between hearing and cognition is well established in dementia, but not in mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Objective: The aim of the present study was to define the prevalence of hearing impairment in elderly patients with MCI and in controls. Methods: Twenty-nine patients with MCI and 24 control subjects were analyzed. We evaluated memory and hearing impairments through clinical tests, including the Mini Mental Status Examination, Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) and Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly Screening (HHIE-S). Audiometries were performed in 22 patients with MCI and 19 subjects in a control group. Results: MCI patients showed more hearing complaints (68.9%) compared to the control group (25%) (p=0.001). No differences in the intensity of hearing complaints, measured by the HHIE-S, were detected. Nonetheless, differences between mean hearing threshold (MCI group=23.4±11.3 dB and control group=16.0±10.1dB) (p=0.03) were identified. Conclusions: There is a significant association between MCI and hearing impairment. Hearing impairment in MCI patients may be a contributory factor to cognitive decline. This may however be related to the same neuropathological process, due to lesions of cortical areas related to hearing. The early diagnosis of hearing impairment in MCI patients may offer a more appropriate approach to this disease.

Keywords : dementia; memory; hearing; audiometry; elderly; aged..

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