The Effect of Cochlear Implants on Cognitive Function in Aging Australians

Project Summary

Many older adults with mild hearing loss have a 30-40% accelerated rate of cognitive decline compared to those with normal hearing. The risk of developing dementia for people with severe-profound hearing loss is almost five times greater than for people with normal hearing.  There are currently no successful medical treatments for dementia.

This study is investigating the effect of cochlear implantation on cognition over time for older adults, to determine whether this could be beneficial in delaying cognitive decline.


To investigate the effects of:

  1. Degree of hearing loss and rate/extent of cognitive decline.
  2. The amount of benefit gained from cochlear implant use and the effect of this on cognitive changes over time.
  3. The effects of cochlear implant use on quality of life, defined across a variety of measures.




This study is currently recruiting participants through The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital's Cochlear Implant Clinic in Melbourne, as well as the Northern Cochlear Implant Programme (NCIP) in New Zealand.


  • Australian Research Council (ARC) grant LP150101180.
  • Cochlear Limited.
  • In kind contributions from Cogstate Research and The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health (AIBL Study).
Woman on facetime
Images courtesy of Cochlear Limited