To assess the effects of hearing rehabilitation with cochlear implants on a subset of cognitive domains in older patients (≥65 yr).
Prospective observational study.
Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main.
Patients aged between 65 and 86 years who have received unilateral cochlear implant (CI) therapy.
Unilateral cochlear implantation.
Main Outcome Measures:
The dementia screening test (DemTect) and the trail making test (TMT) were carried out on three occasions: previous to the surgery, at the initial fitting (about 1 month after surgery) and 6 months after surgery.
The average overall score on the DemTect scale increased significantly within 6 months of CI treatment (p = 0.049), with verbal aspects improving particularly markedly. The results of the trail making test showed that within 6 months of CI treatment, processing speed increased significantly (TMT A: p = 0.003; TMT B: p = 0.001).
A pre-post comparison showed that aural rehabilitation with a CI results in an improvement in cognitive subdomains. Further comprehensive randomized-controlled studies may be necessary to evaluate possible confounding variables and to assess long-term results.