Impaired Senses, Especially Smell, Linked to Dementia
A poor combined score on tests of hearing, vision, smell, and touch is associated with a higher risk for dementia and cognitive decline among older adults, new research suggests. The study, which included almost 1800 participants, adds to emerging evidence that even mild levels of multisensory impairment are associated with accelerated cognitive aging, the researchers note.
@rajrani Previous research has focused on the link between dementia and individual senses, but this new work is unique in that it focuses on the additive effects of multiple impairments in sensory function, said Brenowitz. The study included 1794 dementia-free participants in their 70s from Health, Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC), a prospective cohort study of healthy black and white men and women. Researchers tested participants' hearing using a pure tone average without hearing aids and vision using contrast sensitivity with glasses permitted. They also measured vibrations in the big toe to assess touch and had participants identify distinctive odors such as paint thinner, roses, lemons, and onions to assess smell.