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PhD position, Effect Of Hearing Loss And Vestibular Decline On Cognitive Function In Older Subjects - 2019BAPFGGWEF135Posted by: University of Antwerp
Posted date: 2019-May-07
The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is seeking to fill a full-time (100%) vacancy in the Department of Translational Neurosciences for a
Doctoral Grant by the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) in the area of “Effect Of Hearing Loss And Vestibular Decline On Cognitive Function In Older Subjects: Correlation With Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials And MRI Brain Volume Changes”.
The world population has been aging dramatically, with 12% aged 60 years or older, and a rising number developing dementia. Yet, until now no cure or therapy to slow down the disease has been identified. Recent studies have established that hearing loss increases the risk for developing dementia. Because hearing loss can be treated with a hearing aid or cochlear implantation, this could potentially delay the onset of dementia. Many studies have reported improvement in cognition after hearing rehabilitation, but this might have been caused by just hearing the mostly verbal tests better. Many studies have demonstrated that balance organ function, located in the inner ear, also has an effect on cognition. However, while hearing loss and balance organ function loss often occur simultaneously, it has not been systematically evaluated in older adults.
Our aim is to study the effect of hearing loss and balance organ function loss on learning and memory (i.e. cognition) in older subjects (55 years or older) and patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. We will do so by systematically evaluating hearing and vestibular function in these subjects, by using a cognitive assessment tool that is adapted to a potentially hearing-impaired population, by using objective measurements of electrical activity in the auditory cortex evoked by sound and by analyzing MRI volume changes in relevant areas of the brain to detect who is at risk for developing cognitive impairment.
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