Cognitive Testing For The Early Detection Of Decreased Cognitive Function

A ten-year study carried out by Dr. Frank Lin established an up to a five-fold increase in dementia for individuals with mild, medium, or severe hearing loss.

Further support for Dr. Lin’s research came from a 25-year long French study in the October 2018 issue of the Journals of Gerontology, which demonstrated an increase in the cases of disabilities, dementia, and depression among elderly men as hearing loss continued to increase.

How hearing loss contributes to an increased risk of developing dementia and early cognitive decline is complex, but the link between the two is reason enough for audiologists to take a closer look.

Our efforts to help our patients and their families live a richer, more independent lifestyle by providing personalized hearing care to our patients are further enhanced by our capacity to make use of advanced diagnostic technology to measure how hearing loss is affecting their cognitive health.

Aim Hearing & Audiology makes use of a breakthrough technology for the early detection of cognitive decline known as Cognivue Screening in order to enhance the level of custom hearing care we provide.

Shannon Frymark, Au.D. performing a cognitive screening test at Aim Hearing Greensboro, NC

Great first appointment today. Really thorough exam and options explained. Employees were friendly and doctors were knowledgeable. Looking forward to learning more at next visit. Really friendly staff and extremely knowledgeable. Wouldn’t think of going anywhere else. Best in Greensboro!

Dale M.

The testing, treatment and service are unbelievable. I’ve used other audiologists before AIM Hearing. No comparison to the level of time and attention that AIM Hearing devoted to me. Great local company to work with in our community.

Kevin P.

Everyone I came into contact with was very pleasant & knowledgeable! There were no long wait times to see different personnel. Each person I spent time with was thorough and I never felt rushed. Highly recommended!

Maxine Y.

The Link Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline

Reasons why hearing loss and cognitive decline tend to go hand-in-hand are divided into four classifications established by the American Academy of Neurology.

#1 – Common Risk Factors

Those with high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes are at greater risk for decreased cognitive health, conditions that also accompany hearing loss. The narrowing of blood vessels, which is common with these conditions, also affects the network of small blood vessels that feed the cochlea, leading to hearing loss.

#2 – Mental Overload

The central auditory pathways that process sound signals become overloaded with the increasingly difficult task of conducting, analyzing, and processing sound when hearing loss is left untreated.

Other parts of the brain, especially those involved in thinking and memory, have to pitch in order to help compensate for poorly transmitted sound, redirecting thinking and memory resources to help with hearing instead of cognitive functions.

#3 – Structural Changes

Areas of the brain used for sound processing begin to atrophy or shrink because of their limited amount of activity when there are limited or an absence of sound signals to process.

#4 – Social Isolation

Avoiding social events or removing themselves from social gatherings because of the stress and discomfort involved with struggling to keep up with conversations in noisy settings is common for those experiencing hearing loss. Social isolation, according to University of British Columbia researchers, increases by a factor of 52% for every 10-decibel drop in hearing capacity.

What Is Cognivue Screening, And How Does It Work?

Female audiologist explain cognitive test results to a young patient

Clarity by Cognivue is a specialized tool used by Aim Hearing to help our patients identify and manage cognitive decline, but it also serves as an advanced level tool for developing the right hearing care plan and hearing aid selection.

Cognivue screening involves a personalized, consistent, and reliable assessment of your overall brain health.

By measuring cognitive levels in several different areas, the test establishes a baseline score, which you and your doctor can use to monitor and detect changes as they develop, utilizing new interventions when levels decline and measuring the success of interventions as they increase.

The features of Cognivue screening include:

  • Quick assessments (about 10 minutes)
  • Non-invasive
  • Interactive and intuitive
  • Self-administered
  • Immediate results after testing
  • Easy to understand results
  • Secure and confidential

Unique software algorithms designed to use patient responses in order to adapt the test according to the patient’s performance help improve the accuracy of these FDA-approved tests by eliminating testing variability.

What Cognitive Screening Results Show

Cognitive screening results provide you and your doctor with an outline for evaluating how conditions, such as hearing loss, are contributing to cognitive decline, making it possible to establish a plan of action to limit continuing decline with therapeutic responses that target specific issues.

The results include five areas of scoring, each of which has a direct audiological connection.

#1 – Memory Score

Your ability to retain information while processing the same or new information at the same time is a critical part of sorting out complex sentences, following abstract thoughts, and comprehending speech in a degraded sound environment.

#2 – Visuospatial Score

Shows your ability to process and interpret visual information, such as how things are related to each other in space, but reaches beyond pure peripheral processing to include the ability to identify where sound or a voice is coming from. This score also indicates how effectively you use visual cues along with your capacity to process complex sentences and speech in a degraded sound environment.

#3 – Executive Function Score

A measurement of how well you are able to coordinate and control higher-order cognitive processes. Your cognitive executive function guides your level of attentiveness, planning, problem-solving and more, skills you use to focus on a single speaker in noise or multiple speakers talking at the same time, as well as the ability to focus on speech while ignoring irrelevant distractions during a conversation.

#4 – Reaction Time

How quickly your brain coordinates between stimulus perception and response is timed during your screening, indicating your ability to respond within an appropriate time frame when sound or speech signals dictate a quick reaction.

#5 – Processing Speed

A measurement of how long it takes you to mentally process a task indicates your ability to follow rapid and/or complex conversations, especially those taking place in a degraded sound or listening environment.

Schedule A Cognitive Screening At Aim Hearing & Audiology

Many of our patients have put off addressing their hearing loss for some time, causing some of them to begin experiencing some degree of cognitive decline by the time we conduct a hearing assessment.

Our team of audiologists at Aim Hearing takes our commitment to provide better hearing and improved quality of life for our patients seriously, which is why we have added Cognivue screening to the services we provide.

If you, or a loved one, struggle with recall, making decisions, organizing tasks, losing your sense of direction, or other cognitive-related issues, contact our hearing care professionals to schedule a Cognitive Screening by submitting the adjacent form.