A Randomized Feasibility Pilot Trial of Hearing Treatment for Reducing Cognitive Decline: Results from the Aging and Cognitive Health Evaluation in Elders Pilot Study

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Clinical trials, Cognition, Dementia, Epidemiology, Hearing, Longitudinal study, Memory, Presbycusis

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Introduction: Hearing loss (HL) is prevalent and independently related to cognitive decline and dementia. There has never been a randomized trial to test if HL treatment could reduce cognitive decline in older adults.

Methods: A 40-person (aged 70–84 years) pilot study in Washington County, MD, was conducted. Participants were randomized 1:1 to a best practices hearing or successful aging intervention and followed for 6 months. clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02412254.

Results: The Aging and Cognitive Health Evaluation in Elders Pilot (ACHIEVE-P) Study demonstrated feasibility in recruitment, retention, and implementation of interventions with no treatment-related adverse events. A clear efficacy signal of the hearing intervention was observed in perceived hearing handicap (mean of 0.11 to −1.29 standard deviation [SD] units; lower scores better) and memory (mean of −0.10 SD to 0.38 SD).

Discussion: ACHIEVE-P sets the stage for the full-scale ACHIEVE trial (N = 850, recruitment beginning November 2017), the first randomized trial to determine efficacy of a best practices hearing (vs. successful aging) intervention on reducing cognitive decline in older adults with HL.

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Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, v. 3, issue 3, p. 410-415