In a groundbreaking development reported at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC®) 2023, results emphasize the pivotal role of hearing aids in mitigating long-term cognitive decline in older adults.
The findings, stemming from the Aging and Cognitive Health Evaluation in Elders (ACHIEVE) study, the largest randomized, controlled clinical trial of hearing aids, reveal a transformative impact on cognitive well-being, particularly for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss.
While the overall results of the study were neutral, the hearing intervention demonstrated a significant 48% reduction in cognitive decline among older adults with mild to moderate hearing loss in a subgroup from the ongoing observational study of heart health. The ACHIEVE study encompassed a randomized trial of older adults aged 70-84 with untreated hearing loss, conducted at four U.S. sites, recruiting 977 participants from two study populations.
ELEHEAR’s Alpha Pro recognizes the importance of these findings, especially in the context of addressing cognitive decline in high-risk individuals. The three-year intervention, which included the use of hearing aids, a hearing toolkit for self-management, and ongoing counseling with an audiologist, showcases the potential of hearing aids as a preventative measure against cognitive decline. The positive results within the heart health study subgroup analysis indicate a promising avenue for further exploration
Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Association chief science officer, comments on the encouraging results in the heart health study subgroup, stating, “Previous research has identified hearing loss as potentially the single largest dementia risk factor that can be addressed or modified with existing tools that remain underutilized.”
Highlighting the urgency of identifying globally implementable dementia prevention strategies, the ACHIEVE researchers note that 65% of adults over age 60 experience hearing loss. ELEHEAR aligns its mission with the broader goals of public health, recognizing hearing loss as a treatable condition in later life that significantly impacts cognitive health.
Dr. Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., co-primary investigator of the ACHIEVE study, emphasizes the treatability of hearing loss, stating, “Hearing loss is very treatable in later life, which makes it an important public health target to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.”
The encouraging results from the ACHIEVE study align with ELEHEAR’s commitment to advancing hearing aid technology as a means of promoting cognitive health. The company acknowledges the multifaceted nature of addressing cognitive decline, emphasizing the need for strategies that impact more than one pathway for long-term success.
As research continues to unravel the intricacies of how hearing aids contribute to cognitive benefit, ELEHEAR remains at the forefront, championing regular hearing checkups and timely interventions as essential components of general health and well-being for older adults. The company stands poised to contribute to ongoing research initiatives and anticipates further advancements in understanding the enduring benefits of hearing interventions.