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Treating Auditory impairment and CogniTion (TACT): a pilot trial of hearing aids for dementia risk
People with poor hearing are more likely to develop dementia. Potentially, hearing aid use could result in many people developing dementia later or not at all. Over two-thirds of UK people aged over 65 years of age have hearing loss. Currently most people with hearing loss do not get hearing aids or quickly stop using them, especially if they have memory problems. The only way to find out if hearing aids reduce dementia risk is through a trial, where nearly everybody who needs hearing aids uses them, compared to those who continue as now, when they should use them but don’t. In this pilot trial a computer will randomly decide if people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI; an intermediate state between normal aging and dementia) and hearing loss get either usual NHS care, or if they get our new intervention to fit hearing aids at home and provide support to increase use. The aim in this trial is to find out if this new intervention is acceptable and helps people with MCI use hearing aids. If so, then we will be able to do a much larger scale trial to establish whether or not hearing aids use reduces dementia risk.
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