Study Links Cochlear Implants to Improved Cognitive Function in Seniors Following on previous research associating untreated hearing loss with cognitive decline, a new study links cochlear implantation in older people with improved cognitive function and speech perception. In a study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, lead author Isabelle Mosnier of the Assistance ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   June 01, 2015
Study Links Cochlear Implants to Improved Cognitive Function in Seniors
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Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   June 01, 2015
Study Links Cochlear Implants to Improved Cognitive Function in Seniors
The ASHA Leader, June 2015, Vol. 20, 15. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.20062015.13
The ASHA Leader, June 2015, Vol. 20, 15. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.20062015.13
Following on previous research associating untreated hearing loss with cognitive decline, a new study links cochlear implantation in older people with improved cognitive function and speech perception.
In a study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, lead author Isabelle Mosnier of the Assistance Publique-Hopitaux in Paris and her team examined cognitive function and hearing restoration in 94 patients, ages 65–85, with profound postlingual hearing loss.
They evaluated each patient before implantation and at six and 12 months after.
In just six months after surgery, researchers saw a rise in the average scores of quality of life, depression and speech perception in quiet and in noise. After one year, more than 80 percent of participants who began with the lowest cognitive scores had improved, while those with top cognitive performance displayed stable scores.
The researchers note, however, that there were some cases of decline.

After one year, more than 80 percent of participants who began with the lowest cognitive scores had improved, while those with top cognitive performance displayed stable scores.

Participants also saw improved speech perception in both quiet and noise, and their quality-of-life and depression scores also benefitted (59 percent indicated no depression before implantation, compared with 76 percent afterward).
“Our study demonstrates that hearing rehabilitation using cochlear implants in the elderly is associated with improvements in impaired cognitive function,” the researchers write. “Further research is needed to evaluate the long-term influence of hearing restoration on cognitive decline and its effect on public health.”
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June 2015
Volume 20, Issue 6