FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Worsening multisensory function is associated with accelerated cognitive aging, according to a study published online July 12 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

Willa D. Brenowitz, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues enrolled 1,794 adults aged 70 to 79 years who were dementia-free and followed them for up to 10 years to examine the association between multisensory impairment and dementia. The multisensory function score was based on sample quartiles of objectively measured vision, hearing, smell, and touch summed overall. In models adjusting for demographics and health conditions, the risks for incident dementia and cognitive decline associated with the score were assessed.

The researchers found that comparing poor and good multisensory score tertiles and comparing middle and good tertiles, dementia risk was 2.05 and 1.45 times higher, respectively. Faster rates of cognitive decline were seen in association with each point worse in the multisensory function score.

“This study adds to emerging evidence that multisensory impairment, even at mild levels, is associated with accelerated cognitive aging,” the authors write. “Multisensory assessments may be a useful important risk-stratification tool to identify those at high risk for accelerated cognitive aging and other poor health outcomes.”

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