Geriatric

Geriatric

Peripheral Hearing Loss and APD

Cox, McCoy, Tun, and Wingfield (2008) investigated whether peripheral hearing loss impacts elderly subjects performance on monotic auditory processing disorders (APD) tests. Participants were divided into three groups based on hearing thresholds. All participants were high-functioning, well-educated subjects. Participants with normal thresholds across the speech frequencies performed quite well. The other two groups, with various threshold configurations did less well.

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United States: Aging and Related Demographics

Kronholz (2008) reported the latest demographics relating to aging in the United States. In the United States, average life expectancy is currently 78 years. This indicates an increase of some 30 years — since1900, and an increase of 10 years — since 1950. Kronholz reported that gerontologists refer to the population younger than age 80 as the "young old." And speaking of politics... Warren Buffet, 25 percent of all U.S. Senators and four of the Supreme Court justices are past their 72nd birthdays.

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Exercise, Cognition, and Audition

The relationship between cognition and auditory processing has received a lot of attention from researchers and clinicians addressing hearing loss. A new study in the September 3, 2008, issue of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) indicated that adults with memory problems were able to improve their cognitive function, secondary to a modest exercise program.

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Growth Rates of Acoustic Neuroma: Watch and Wait as a Treatment Option?

In general, the diagnosis of acoustic neuroma (AN) usually triggers treatment options such as surgery or radiation. In a newly published study, Solares and Panizza (2008) evaluated the “no growth” rate in patients diagnosed with AN. One hundred and ten patients were retrospectively evaluated over a 10-year period. Inclusion in the study mandated unilateral AN and at least two consecutive imaging studies. Sixty-five males and 45 females were included, and the mean age was 62 years.

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Aging in America: Remarkable Change

Roberts and Gross (2008) report that "remarkable change" is coming to America. In terms of percentage of the population, in 2008, only 13 percent of Americans are 65 years or older. By 2030, 20 percent of Americans will be in that same demographic. In real numbers, by 2050, it is expected that 89 million Americans will be 65 or older. With respect to achieving age 100, there are currently some 80,000 centenarians in the United States and by 2025, there will be 175,000.

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Alzheimer's Disease, Homocysteine, and Vitamin B

It has been previously documented that elevated homocysteine has been found in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) patients. This amino acid (homocysteine) has been associated with neuropathological and neurodegenerative mechanisms. Thus, some researchers have wondered if the level of homocysteine could be lowered, perhaps AD progression would be slowed? Vitamin B has been shown to lower homocysteines in some individuals.

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Vision and Eye Update: 2008

As of 2004, the National Eye Institute (NEI) reported blindness or low vision affects 3.3 million Americans over age 40 (or 1 in every 28 people), and by 2020 over 5 million people in the United States will have blindness or low vision. Although people 80 years of age were only 8 percent of the U.S. population (in 2004), they represented 69 percent of the blind people in the country.

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Cognitive Reserve and Alzheimer's Disease

In the November 2008 issue of Archives of Neurology, Dr. Catherine Roe and colleagues (Washington University, St Louis, Missouri) reported people with greater cognitive ability (i.e., thinking, learning, and memory) are better able to delay the onset of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) symptoms.

The "cognitive reserve hypothesis" suggests individuals with greater cognitive ability (i.e., thinking, learning, and memory) can delay symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease despite underlying changes in the brain.

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Ginkgo Biloba and Alzheimer's Disease

Lon S. Schneider MD, (University of Southern California) reflects in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA. 2008;300[19] despite 20 years of research into ginkgo biloba extracts, a plethora of uncertainty still exists regarding ginkgo's pharmacology and clinical benefit. Noting the active molecules of the otherwise biochemically complex extract remains unidentified and noting that actual clinical research lacks cognitive indications, dosages, pharmacodynamic markers, or any efficacy evidence related to any cognitive function, Dr.

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Gamma Knife & RadioSurgery for Acoustic Neuroma

In a retrospective analysis, Lasak and colleagues (2008) recently reported hearing outcomes and other results for 33 patients (21 females) treated with gamma knife radiosurgery rather than traditional surgical management for their acoustic neuromas. The average age of their patients was 62 years, the age range was 40 to 84 years.

As a group, the average pre-treatment audiometric profile was 56 dB PTA (using 500, 1000, 2,000, and 3,000 Hz) and 46 percent WRS. After some 24 months of follow-up (on average) the post-treatment audiometric profile was 67 dB PTA and 39 percent WRS.

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