Cognitive Screening

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Detecting Cognitive Function Decline with Cognitive Screening

A ten year study carried out by Dr. Frank Lin established that there is an up to five-fold increase in dementia for individuals with mild, medium, or severe hearing loss.

A 25 yearlong French study in the Journals of Gerontology demonstrated an increase in the cases of disabilities, dementia, and depression among elderly men as hearing loss continued to increase, supporting the research of Dr. Lin.

How hearing loss connects to increasing your risk for developing dementia and early cognitive decline is complex, but the link is the cause of concern for our doctors of audiology. In Duncan Hearing Healthcare’s efforts to help our patients and their families live a richer, more independent lifestyle through better hearing, we take things a step further by making use of advanced diagnostic technology that measures how hearing loss is impacting your cognitive health.

We utilize a breakthrough technology known as Cognivue Screening in order to enhance the level of custom hearing care we are able to provide.

Nancy Ducan, Au.D discussing cognitive screening results with a couple

I have been a patient at Duncan for several years and their service is second to none. Everyone on staff is pleasent, knowledgable and caring. I feel that I am treated like family when I go there.

Joseph P

Friendly front office staff, thorough examination and testing with a clear and simple explanation of what the testing showed. Dr. Duncan has a lovely “bedside” manner. Highly recommend.

Kim B

Great customer service. Thank you all for your help. Dedicated to help patients and make them feel better.

Ibrahim D

Four Ways Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline Are Linked

The American Academy of Neurology describes four different ways hearing loss and cognitive decline are linked.

1. Common Risk Factors
Hearing loss often accompanies other negative health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, which also tend to place individuals with those conditions at greater risk for decreased cognitive health. The link between the two is probably the narrowing of blood vessels, common in these conditions, which also occurs in the network of small blood vessels that feed the cochlea that sometimes contribute to hearing loss.
2. Mental Overload
The task of conducting, analyzing, and processing sound by central auditory pathways becomes more difficult when receiving muted sound signals from the auditory system, leading to mental overload. To make up for the fact that mental resources are spread too thin, other parts of the brain, especially those involved in thinking and memory, pitch in to help, redirecting thinking and memory resources to process hearing rather than cognitive functions.
3. Structural Changes
Muscular atrophy, or shrinking, occurs when a muscle sees a limited or decreased amount of activity. This occurs in your brain when there are weak or absent sound signals to process, changing the brain’s structural capacity.
4. Social Isolation

University of British Columbia researchers demonstrated an increase in social isolation by a factor of 52% for every 10-decibel drop in hearing capacity. This occurs due to the stress and discomfort involved with struggling to keep up with conversations in noisy settings. Social isolation makes a significant contribution to cognitive decline.

Book a Cognitive Screening

What Is Cognivue Screening and How Does It Work?

Cognivue Screening is a specialized tool used by Duncan Hearing in order to help our patients identify and manage cognitive decline. It serves as an advanced level tool for measuring cognitive decline, developing the right hearing care treatment plan and provides insight helpful in the process of selecting the hearing aid technology.

This form of cognitive testing utilizes a personalized, consistent, and reliable assessment of your overall brain health, establishing a baseline score against which you and your doctor can monitor and detect changes as they develop, utilize new interventions when levels decline, and measure the success of interventions already in place.

Some of the features of Cognivue screening include:

  • Quick assessments (about 10 minutes)
  • Non-invasive
  • Interactive and intuitive
  • Self-administered
  • Immediate results after testing
  • Easy to understand results
  • Secure and confidential

A special characteristic of Cognivue testing is its capacity to adapt the test according to the patient’s performance using unique software algorithms that help improve testing accuracy by eliminating testing variability.

Duncan Hearing cognitive screening experts

What Cognitive Screening Results Show

Each of the five scores provided in the results of cognitive testing has a direct audiological connection.
1. Memory Score
Your ability to sort out complex sentences, follow abstract thoughts, and comprehend speech in a degraded sound environment, as well as the capacity to retain information while processing the same or new information at the same time, is reflected in your memory score.
2. Visuospatial Score
Your visuospatial score indicates how well you are able to process and interpret visual stimuli, like how things are related to each other in space. However, your visuospatial capabilities go beyond peripheral processing to include your ability to identify where sound or a voice is coming from, how well you’re able to use visual cues, and your capacity to process complex sentences and speech in a degraded sound environment.
3. Executive Function Score
The executive function of your brain measures your ability to coordinate and control higher order cognitive processes. Your executive function score indicates your ability to guide your level of attentiveness, planning, problem solving, and more skills necessary for focusing on a single speaker in a noisy environment, multiple speakers talking at the same time, or your capacity to focus on speech while ignoring irrelevant distractions during a conversation.
4. Reaction Time
The speed at which your brain produces a response after the perception of a sound is reflected in your reaction time score. This helps to identify whether you respond within an appropriate time frame when sound or speech signals dictate a quick reaction.
5. Processing Speed
When you mentally process a task or attempt to follow a complex conversation, especially in a degraded or noisy sound environment, the amount of time it takes to respond properly is reflected in your processing speed score.

Schedule a Cognitive Screening at Duncan Hearing Healthcare

Because some of our patients have put off addressing their hearing loss for an extended amount of time, some come to us already experiencing a degree of cognitive decline. Using cognitive screening at Duncan Hearing Healthcare, we’re not only able to help provide better hearing, but we’re also able to assist with helping you limit the effects your hearing loss has on your cognitive abilities.

If you, or a loved one, struggles with recall, making decisions, organizing tasks, losing your sense of direction, or other cognitive issues along with signs of hearing loss, submit the adjacent form to schedule a Cognitive Screening with one of our doctors of audiology.

how to encourage a stubborn man to get his hearing tested free guide by Duncan Hearing


With hearing loss impacting 1 in 5 of us, the data suggests that at least one special person in our lives are struggling with hearing loss. The challenge is that it's often difficult for these people to admit that they have a challenge with their hearing or be open to seeking help.

That's why we have developed a free white-paper to help you to understand the different ways that you can support a loved one and encourage them to get the help that they need.

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Patient Care Coordinator Required to Join Winning Team

Duncan Hearing Healthcare is in search of a Patient Care Coordinator to join our amazing team in Fall River, Massachusetts. It’s an opportunity to be part of a nationally respected team of passionate people who have built a stellar reputation as the most caring, trustworthy, and experienced hearing care experts in Massachusetts.

We’re now seeking someone that wants to join our work family, show us the commitment that we’ll show them and be part of shaping our future, as one of our patient care coordinators.

To join our team, we care much more about you, your personality, and your career ambitions. From our experience, a great patient care coordinator cares more about people than anything else, they feel a duty to help others, and they’re often willing to go far beyond normal expectations to delight their patients.

If this is how your co-workers and friends would describe you, we’d like to meet you:

  • Positive attitude, always a pleasure to be around, great sense of humor
  • Friendly, warm, a people person – and comes across the very first time you meet someone, even on the telephone
  • Patient, compassionate, helpful especially with older people. Even temperament, calm, always pleasant, unflappable. Has a knack for being able to turn a frown into a smile
  • Committed, dedicated, a great teammate, pitches in without being asked, puts team accomplishments ahead of individual accomplishments
  • Accurate, detailed, gets things right, double checks their own work, makes very few mistakes
  • Owns it: accepts responsibility, credits others for successes and accepts responsibility for failures. Always finds a constructive way to solve a problem
  • Coachable, doesn’t get defensive, accepts feedback with a positive attitude. Always looking for ways to grow and improve
  • Reliable, dependable, doesn’t just arrive on time: often comes in a little early to make sure they’re prepared for the day; willing to stay late when there’s work that needs to be done

These statements also describe the people you’ll be working with in our office. It’s the kind of culture we’ve developed, and we’re absolutely committed to maintaining that culture.

The person we hire has to be a great fit, and we’re prepared to wait until the perfect match comes along.

This isn’t just a job: it’s a commitment to a team, serving a real purpose, helping people stay connected with their loved ones and enjoy life.

If that appeals to you, and the above description made you say “Hey! That’s me!”, then we’d love to talk. We want to see your resume, so send that along! We are so excited to find the right fit for this position!
Job Type: Full-time, 9-5, M-F, Competitive base salary (depending on experience) plus Commissions/Bonuses, Benefits including 401k available, paid holidays off, PTO included

Experience required in the following areas:

  • Excellent customer service experience is essential!
  • Insurance verification experience is beneficial