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      Leading health charities team up to fund research into hearing loss and dementia

      29 March 2018

      Action on Hearing Loss has teamed up with Alzheimer’s Research UK to co-fund research that will increase our understanding of the common biological mechanisms underlying hearing loss and dementia.


      The two charities are looking to fund 2 projects for up to 3 years to the tune of £160,000 each. They will support projects that will look to advance knowledge of any potential causal link between hearing loss and dementia, lead to the development of interventions that can delay or prevent the progression of both conditions, or prevent one condition from exacerbating the other.


      Emerging evidence has shown that mild hearing loss is associated with a doubled risk of a person developing dementia, with moderate hearing loss linked to three times the risk, and severe hearing loss five times the risk. Hearing loss can be misdiagnosed as dementia, or make the symptoms of dementia appear worse.


      Dr Ralph Holme, Executive Director of Research at Action on Hearing Loss explained: “Little is understood about the exact nature of the link between dementia and hearing loss, and the processes underlying both conditions. It is important to investigate these processes in more detail, to determine how the conditions are linked and how they impact upon each other. More research is therefore needed to clarify whether proper diagnosis and management of hearing loss, including provision of hearing aids, may reduce the risk and impact of dementia and some of the other associated conditions, such as falls and depression. This will be important in developing interventions that can delay or prevent the progression of both dementia and hearing loss.”


      Dr David Reynolds, Chief Scientific Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “In the UK, over two-thirds of people over the age of 65 experience hearing loss. Research understanding the relationship between loss of hearing and dementia is at an early stage, but recent studies have suggested that hearing loss could be a potentially important risk factor for developing the condition. Pinning down the exact mechanisms underlying the link between hearing loss and development of memory problems is an area that warrants much further investigation. By working in partnership with Action for Hearing Loss we hope to add to our understanding of this important area by funding research investigating these links.”


      Both charities receive no government funding for the research they fund and rely on the generosity of their supporters to be able to carry out their important work, including these interdisciplinary research projects.


      Action on Hearing Loss is UK leading hearing loss charity. It funds research into hearing loss and tinnitus to speed up the discovery and development of new medical treatments to protect and restore hearing, improve diagnosis of hearing loss, improve medical devices for hearing, and silence tinnitus.


      Alzheimer’s Research UK, is the UK’s leading dementia research charity funding pioneering projects to understand, diagnose, reduce risk and discover treatments for the diseases causing dementia. It’s vision of the world is where people are free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia. 




      Contact for media enquiries:


      Action on Hearing Loss:

      Julia Maillebiau, telephone: 020 3277 6071, out of hours: 07944 038 635 or email: Follow Action on Hearing Loss on Twitter @hearinglosspr


      Alzheimer’s Research UK:

      For further information, or to speak with Dr David Reynolds, please contact Ed Pinches, Science Media Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK on 0300 111 5 666, 07876573717 or or 

      Follow Alzheimer’s Research UK on Twitter: @ARUKnews


      Notes to Editors:

      • Deadline for Preliminary ApplicationTuesday 17 April 2018 and

      • Action on Hearing Loss helps people to confront deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss to live the life they choose.  Action on Hearing Loss enables them to take control of their lives and remove the barriers in their way. Action on Hearing Loss gives people support and care, develop technology and treatments, and campaign for equality. For more information about Action on Hearing Loss’s Biomedical Research programme, go to

      • Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading charity specialising in finding preventions, treatments and a cure for dementia. To help us defeat dementia, donate today by visiting www.alzheimersresearchuk.orgor calling 0300 111 5555.