Neuroscience company Cognivue, Inc. announced the launch of a nationwide real-world data collection project aimed at confirming a direct relationship between hearing and cognitive function. The 24-month study will assess the practicality of cognitive screening to quantify changes in cognitive function before and after hearing aid fittings and auditory training, according to the company’s announcement. Twelve audiology clinics across the United States are participating in the project using the Cognivue Thrive device, which provides a five-minute, self-administered computerized screening of cognitive function. 

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A 2020 Lancet report[1] indicates that hearing loss may result in cognitive decline through reduced stimulation. It is hypothesized that treatment and intervention of hearing loss can reduce the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.

Cognivue Chief Medical Officer Dr Fred Ma said, “As the number-one modifiable risk factor for dementia, hearing loss requires more awareness of its relationship with cognitive function. Implementing a routine cognitive assessment with the Cognivue Thrive device in audiology practices is crucial for early detection of mild cognitive impairment. This study is a major part of our mission to raise awareness and take action.”

Cognivue technologies are designed to provide healthcare providers a useful tool for cognitive evaluation and diagnosis of various neurodegenerative and neuropsychological disorders. Cognivue Thrive evaluates three cognitive domains: memory, visuospatial, and executive function. The device utilizes the same FDA-cleared technology used by neurologists and other physicians to test for cognitive function, the company says. The screening is “simple to implement in any clinical environment and requires minimal staff involvement.” Thrive folds up like a laptop and weighs less than eight pounds for easy portability, so it can be taken to various locations inside and outside of the clinic, according to Cognivue.

Pilot study investigator Dr Jill Davis, owner and clinical director of Victory Hearing and Balance in West Lake Hills, Texas, said, “Implementing cognitive screening using Cognivue has elevated my care as an audiologist. Understanding the cognitive performance of my patients has helped guide my recommendations so I can provide a more accurate treatment plan for them, with higher satisfaction for both of us. I’m taking a more holistic approach to improving their quality of life and have created strong relationships with their primary care physicians in the process.” 

After baseline data collection, participating audiologists will assess project subjects six times during the two-year period. This includes data tabulation and review of activities every three months, an interim data analysis at the one-year mark, and a full data analysis conducted at the end of 24 months. Project leaders plan to generate a report from the data and submit it to a peer-review journal

1. Livingston G, Huntley J, Sommerlad A, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet. 2020;396(10248):413-446.

Source: Cognivue, The Lancet