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Hearing Health and Cognitive Super-agers

A New York Times article by health columnist Jane Brody looks at “cognitive super-agers,” people who have reached the age of 100 with the cognitive sharpness typically seen in people three decades younger.

According to the article, cognitive super-agers may be more resistant to the clinical symptoms of Alzheimer’s due to diet, leisure activity, social life, exercise, and choosing occupations that involve complex data. Another key factor in their resistance to the effects of neuropathologies and cognitive decline is hearing function.

“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for people to optimize their ability to hear,” said Dr Thomas T. Perls, a geriatrician at Boston University who was quoted in the NY Times article. “There’s a direct connection between hearing and preserving cognitive function. Being stubborn about wearing hearing aids is just silly. Hearing loss results in cognitive loss because you miss so much. You lose touch with your environment.”