Sound and Cognitive Issues (10-22-20)

Weuve and teammates studied links between noise levels experienced at home and cognitive issues. The researchers report that “Participants of the Chicago Health and Aging Project (≥65 years) underwent triennial [every 3 years] cognitive assessments. For the 5 years preceding each assessment, we estimated 5227 participants’ residential level of noise from the community using a spatial prediction model, and estimated associations of noise level with prevalent mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD [Alzheimer’s disease], cognitive performance, and rate of cognitive decline. Among these participants, an increment of 10 A-weighted decibels (dBA) in noise corresponded to 36% and 29% higher odds of prevalent MCI . . . and AD. . . . Noise level was associated with worse global cognitive performance, principally in perceptual speed . . .but not consistently associated with cognitive decline. These results join emerging evidence suggesting that noise may influence late-life cognition and risk of dementia.”  These findings indicate the potential value of sound management programs and residential acoustical shielding.

Jennifer Weuve, Jennifer D’Souza, Todd Beck, Denis Evans, Joel Kaufman, Kumar Rajan, Carlos de Leon, and Sara Adar. “Long-Term Community Noise Exposure in Relation to Dementia, Cognition, and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults.”  Alzheimer’s and Dementia, in press, https://doi.org/10.1002/alz.12191