Frank R. Lin1

1Johns Hopkins University

Age-related hearing loss in older adults is often perceived as being an unfortunate but relatively inconsequential part of aging. However, the broader implications of hearing loss for the health and functioning of older adults are now beginning to surface in epidemiologic studies. This lecture will discuss recent epidemiologic research demonstrating that hearing loss is independently associated with accelerated cognitive decline, incident dementia, and brain aging. Mechanisms through which hearing loss may be causally linked with cognitive decline and dementia will be discussed as well as gaps in our current scientific knowledge. Current studies investigating the impact of hearing rehabilitative interventions on reducing cognitive decline and the risk of dementia in older adults will be explained and discussed.


  1. To describe the mechanisms through which hearing loss may be related to risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults
  2. To discuss the epidemiological evidence demonstrating associations of hearing loss and dementia
  3. To explain gaps in our scientific knowledge of the relationship between hearing loss and dementia