Get a Hearing Aid, Save Your Brain?

A new study in the Journal of Neuroscience reports that when people lose hearing as they age, the gray matter in the auditory part of the brain actually shrinks. This in turn reduces total brain volume. They found this out by examining the brain activity of older people with hearing loss and also measuring the amount of gray matter in the auditory cortex of the brain. Therefore, the study's authors recommend hearing aids to preserve the brain as well as help an aging person to hear better. Although this study was focused on older people, the authors concluded that the results could also have major implications for younger people who lose hearing through excessive noise exposure.