Newsletter for the Rotary Club of Western Endeavour - Issue No.: 885 Issue Date: 17 Nov, 2019

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Ear Science Institute Australia

Our Club Hosted Professor Dr Dona Jayakody and PhD Candidate Ms Hadeel Tarawneh to talk about the Subiaco based Ear Science Institute Australia. Ms Laura Sabatini organised their visit.

Established in 2001, Ear Science Institute Australia is an independent not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving ear and hearing outcomes through education and translational, solutions-based research (patient-to-laboratory-to-patient). They are an active and committed education and training organisation, with robust and dynamic links between researchers and clinicians. Their approach is multi-disciplinary in nature, employing skills from diverse fields such as otolaryngology, audiology, engineering, computer science and molecular and cellular sciences.

Ear Science Institute Australia has an affiliation with The Lions Hearing Clinic based at QE2 Medical Centre and with the University of WA.

Professor Jayakody’s presentation focused upon hearing and cognition problems associated with Age Related Hearing Loss (ARHL), which is central to their research. Ultimately they believe they can demonstrate that undetected hearing loss in older citizens can be  correlated tp memory loss, dementia and probably Alzheimers Disease. Other factors leading to memory loss and more, include, anxiety, long term social isolation, depression and diminished mental health.

Frailty—AHRL is an important marker of frailty in older citizens , such that the risk of frailty increases by 60%+ with hearing loss. Frailty markers are -Unintentional weight loss, self reported exhaustion, weakness of grip strength, walking slower and reluctant physical activity.

Central Auditory Processing— This is the processing of hearing by the brain vs the inner ear. Impaired central auditory function has been observed 5 to 10 year prior to diagnosing Alzheimers Disease.

Early Intervention in Older citizens— Hearing aids and Cochlear implants are the mechanical devices employed. Ear Science Institute Australia is researching the effects of hearing aids on citizens 70 years or older when they are otherwise hearing impaired.

Initial testing between 19 unimpaired, 35 hearing aids users and and 13 impaired without hearing aids, showed correlation with mental impairment, but the sample size is too small to be definitive.

Offer to over 70 year old citizens with suspected Age Related Hearing Loss— Ear Science Institute  Australia will accept up to 300 patients to test for hearing loss and mental acuity.  Those diagnosed with Age Related Hearing Loss (ARHL), will be offered hearing aids and tested regularly for 2 years. The aim is to confirm the perception that AHRL is linked to dementia and worse.

PhD Candidate Hadeel Tarawneh- is using electrical impulse technology to detect brain malfunction in those diagnosed with memory impairment and advanced Hearing loss.

She is in the the early stages of her research..very enthusiastic    

Questions

  • Does the quality of the hearing aid make a difference. Yes        
  • Do they measure hearing loss in a noisy environment vs one on one in an otherwise noiseless room -Yes

Rohan thanked the speakers and also Laura Sabatini for organising Ear Science Institute Australia. to visit Rotary Club of western Endeavour.

For further information visit their site -https://www.earscience.org.au/about-us

Author: Marcus Harris

Published: 29 August, 2019


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