No Genetic Evidence Hearing
Loss Causes Alzheimer Disease

New QIMR Berghofer and QUT research on Wednesday said that there is no strong genetic evidence that hearing loss causes Alzheimer’s disease, in spite of both conditions sharing a significant number of genetic
The research ending was published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia:
Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring.
A c c o r d i n g t o t h e J o u r n a l t h e relationship between hearing loss and
Alzheimer’s disease has been in the spotlight for decades, with recent
research focusing on risk factors that if modied during a person’s lifetime,
could potentially prevent a person developing Alzheimer’s disease. Some other studies have suggested mild hearing loss doubles a person’s risk of dementia, while people with
severe hearing impairment are five t i m e s l i k e l y t o d e v e l o p
d e m e n t i a . S e n i o r A u t h o r a n d researcher in QIMR Berghofer’s
Genetic Epidemiology Research Group Associate Professor, Michelle Lupton said her team’s study found that a quarter of the genetic variants that inuenced hearing loss
were also involved in Alzheimer’s disease. “We did not find any genetic evidence
however that one of the conditions caused the other.
” Lack of genetic evidence sheds doubt on whether the treatment for hearing
impairment would change a person’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease in the future.” “Most of the 25 per cent of genetic variants that were common in both
conditions were also associated with inammation and the body’s immune
response,” Associate Professor Lupton
This supports the mounting evidence of the importance of in inflammation in
Alzheimer’s disease. It’s possible that the relationship between these two traits may be due to a common cause that hasn’t been identified yet.” It is important that patients are always treated for their maintain quality of life, but this study also provides new information on Alzheimer’s disease and indicates that treating hearing loss may not prevent the degenerative illness,” Lupton
First author and PhD candidate, Brittany Mitchell said it was one of the
largest genetic studies of its kind into the relationship between hearing loss
and Alzheimer’s disease. “We examined DNA from more than 250,000 people with self-reported hearing loss and looked for an overlap in the genetic variants of people who
had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease,” she said. Alzheimer’s disease is the most
common form of dementia with over 50 million people around the world currently living with the condition.
No new drugs have been developed to treat Alzheimer’s disease since 2003.
Hearing loss affects about 32 per cent of people aged 55 years and older.

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