February 27, 2017
A recent article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette highlights work by Tomma Henckel, Audiologist and Clinical Supervisor at the Center for Language, Speech and Hearing, with a client coping with both hearing problems and Alzheimer's disease. Sterling Lamet, Henckel's patient, had been diagnosed with hearing loss for ten years when his wife noticed he wasn't understanding what she said even while wearing hearing aids. When Henckel tested his hearing at the Center she found no change -- leading the couple to get Lamet evaluated at the Memory Disorders Program at Baystate Medical Center.
Henckel notes in the article that connections between hearing loss and dementia have been found in recent years, but are not clear.
“There are three possibilities, none of which excludes the other,” she said. “Hearing loss causes dementia, dementia causes hearing loss or something causes both.”
The article also quotes Deborah Reed, Au.D. '10, who is an audiologist at Ascent Audiology and Hearing in Hadley.
“When you have hearing loss, you start to get depression, so then your brain starts to atrophy some more,” Reed said. Read more here.