Geriatric

Geriatric

FM Systems for Veterans with Normal Hearing

Saunders et al (2014) report that in the United States, 1.7 million people report traumatic brain injury (TBI) annually. Falls and motor vehicle accidents are the leading causes of TBI and 75 percent of TBI cases are classified as mild. However, between fiscal years 2009 and 2011, approximately 58,000 service members were diagnosed with TBI.

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Parkinson's Disease: Update 2008

Parkinson's Disease (PD) is referred to as a motor system disorder resulting from loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. PD usually impacts people over age 50, but can sometimes affect younger people as well. Diagnosis of PD is based on clinical signs and symptoms, there are no objective tests (blood tests, radiographic studies, etc.) of PD. The four primary symptoms of PD include:


  1. Tremor/trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face.
  2. Rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk.

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Correlation Between Hearing Loss and Vision Loss in Elders

At the recent annual meeting of the Association For Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (April 2008), Marilyn Schneck, PhD, of the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, reported on 446 patients. Forty-three percent of the patients were male, with an average age of 79.9 years (range 67 to 107 years). All participants were screened for hearing loss based on a pass/fail criteria of 40 dB, based on 500, 2000 and 4000 Hz. Hearing screenings were performed upon their second return visit as participants in a Smith-Kettlewell vision study.

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New Zealand Study Confirms Social Interactions Negatively Impacted by Hearing Loss

Australian Speech Pathology lecturer Nerina Scarinci presented (May 20, 2008) her findings at the New Zealand Speech-Language Therapists Association (NZSTA) and Speech Pathology Australia conference in Auckland. Based on 100 elderly Australian couples, Ms. Scarinci found that 94% of the spouses were impacted by their spouses hearing loss. Communication, physical intimacy and social activities were compromised secondary to hearing loss, leading to frustration and deteriorating social interactions.

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When Medicare Spends More, They (we) Don't Always Get More

n the May 28, 2008 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Floyd Fowler Jr, PhD, and associates (University of Massachusetts) reported their groups survey relating to their perceived quality of health care, essentially comparing perceived quality of care across regions of the United States to monies spent. The survey included date from 2,515 respondents and was balanced across gender, age and race-adjusted per capita Medicare expenditures. The analysis showed a relationship between spending and quantity of medical care.

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Hearing/Balance Screenings and Primary Care Physicians

Johnson, Danhauer, and colleagues* developed a 325-item questionnaire to assess U.S. primary care physicians (PCPs) participation, knowledge, and attitudes regarding hearing and balance screenings for the elderly. The questionnaire was sent to 710 PCPs across the nation and the response rate was 14 percent (n = 95). Johnson et al noted a recent report of over 1 million Medicare recipients that determined 82% of the respondents had chronic medical conditions. Leading the list of chronic conditions were arthritis, hypertension, hearing impairment, heart disease, cataracts, etc.

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Report from Quebec: Unintended Injury or Complications Occur Three Times More Often in Patients with Communication Problems

Researchers evaluated records from 2,400 patients across 20 hospitals in Quebec. Patients with communication problems such as deafness, blindness, and psychiatric disorders were determined to be at three times the risk for unintended negative consequences secondary to delivery of care issues, rather than their diagnosed condition. Preventable adverse effects happened more in women that in men and occurred more in patients over age 65. Half the problems encountered were due to hearing difficulties.

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Sudden Hearing Loss May Portend Stroke

Sudden hearing loss may predict a stroke by as much as two years, according to Taipei Medical University researchers. By analyzing the follow-up data for 1,423 patients hospitalized for sudden hearing loss, the researchers determined that these patients were 1.5 times more likely to suffer a stroke as the 5,692 members of the control group. In light of these findings, which have been published in Stroke, researchers recommend all hearing loss patients undergo a comprehensive neurological exam and blood testing to confirm stroke risk.

Washington Post (06/26/08)

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Hearing Loss by the Numbers (1 in 10)

Anemona Hartocollis (NY Times) reports more surgical procedures are being performed on people in their 80s and 90s than ever before. Knee replacement, hip replacement, cataract surgery, heart valves, coronary artery bypass surgery, pacemakers, and other surgeries are no longer unusual in the senior demographic. The U.S. Census Bureau indicates some 90,000 centenarians (100 years old) are living in the United States in 2008--a marked increase over the year 2000, when only 50,000 were reported.

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Hearing Loss Progression and Adults

Wiley et al (2008) reported on the progression of hearing loss over a 10-year period, based on 2,130 older men and women (age range 49 to 92 years). In the younger groups (ages 50 to 69 years) the greatest changes were seen in the higher frequencies (3 to 8 kHz)in the older groups (ages 70 to 89 years) threshold changes were greatest for lower frequencies (0.5 to 2 kHz). The authors note that beyond age and gender, the best predictor of frequency-specific hearing thresholds over 10 years is the frequency-specific baseline threshold itself.

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