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Understanding hearing loss and dementia risk

February 9 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

ARUK Lab Notes

Alzheimer’s Research UK Lab Notes is our series of online engagement events where you can find out about the life-changing dementia research taking place across the UK.

These regular events will give you the chance to delve deeper into our work. You’ll hear about a different topic at each event, with the chance to put your questions to the scientists in our live Q&A.

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A study has suggested that people with unaddressed hearing loss may be more likely to have dementia.

Around 1 million people are affected by dementia in the UK, and 12 million people are estimated to have a type of hearing loss. It has never been more important to understand this link.

Alongside this, people with dementia often have difficulties with their hearing. It can be challenging to understand speech and other important sounds. This can impact their quality of life, hindering communication with others.

At this event, you will have the chance to hear from the experts who are working to find out more about the links between dementia and hearing loss. As well as talking about their research, they will answer your questions during the Q&A session.

The event will take place online on Zoom, and it is free to attend. It is open to everyone, and no previous knowledge of dementia or research is required.


Dr Chris Hardy is a Senior Research Fellow at the Dementia Research Centre, University College London. He completed his PhD on hearing and dementia in 2017, and alongside his research he co-leads the national UK Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) Support Group run by Rare Dementia Support.

We hear with our brains, as well as our ears, and different types of dementia are associated with different brain-related hearing problems. In his talk, Chris will present his recent work on brain-related hearing in people with different forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and PPA. He will also discuss the prospect of tests of brain-related hearing being used to help identify people who may be at risk of developing dementia.

Dr Eithne Heffernan is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham. She completed her PhD studying hearing loss and social engagement in 2017. Her current research focuses on co-existing dementia and hearing conditions. She is also a member of the working group for the Understand Together Campaign: a dementia awareness campaign led by the Health Service Executive of Ireland.

In her talk, Eithne will share her research on the priorities and experiences of people living with dementia and/or hearing conditions, their families, and their clinicians. She will also discuss her research on current and future care for people living with dementia and hearing loss in UK audiology services.

Watch previous webinars

Find more news and resources from Alzheimer’s Research UK, in the ARUK Corner on our website.

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