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Associate Professor

Contact Info

2024 E. Monument Street, Suite B-1100

Research Interests

aging; cognitive aging; cognition; cognitive decline; dementia; disability; epidemiology; hearing loss; retinal; sensory health
Experiences & Accomplishments
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Bloomberg School of Public Health
University of Indiana
Public health prevention efforts are paramount and for delaying dementia diagnosis. Characterized by progressive cognitive decline and culminating in loss of independence and mortality, dementia results in greater health care expenditures than any other chronic disease affecting older adults. Worldwide, 47 million older adults have dementia, and without the implementation of prevention strategies, this number is expected to nearly triple by 2050. To combat this challenge, my research is focused on quantifying how hearing loss and vascular factors impact the aging brain and cognitive function, and to provide insight into mechanistic pathways involved. Two-thirds of adults over the age of 70 have a clinically meaningful hearing loss that may impact everyday communication, and may causally increase dementia risk through its effects of distorted peripheral encoding of sound on cognitive load, changes in brain structure/function, and/or reduced social engagement. Given existing but underutilized aural rehabilitative treatments, elucidation of the role and mechanism of hearing impairment in dementia and cognitive decline has the potential to identify targets for future clinical research and to ultimately to inform efforts to prevent these adverse outcomes in older adults.

My methodological interests include the measurement of cognitive function in older adults with sensory loss, particularly how missing data and/or mode of cognitive testing, may bias cognitive test results in older adults with sensory function, as well as the estimation of trajectories of change in functional outcomes using data from large observational epidemiologic studies in the presence of informative drop-out.
Honors & Awards
Rising Star Award, American Geriatrics Society / National Institute of Health U13 Sensory Impairment and Cognitive Decline Workshop, Bethesda, MD (2017)
Outstanding Teaching Faculty, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)
Select Publications
Selected publications:
  • Deal JA, Betz J, Yaffe K, Harris T, Purchase-Helzner E, Satterfield S, Pratt S, Govil N, Simonsick EM, Lin FR. Hearing Impairment and Incident Dementia and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults: The Health ABC Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 May 1;72(5):703-709. PMCID:PMC5964742
  • Deal JA, Betz J, Lin FR, Reed NS. Interpreting Results from Epidemiologic Studies. Seminars in Hearing. 2021 Feb;42(1):3-9. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1725996. Epub 2021 Apr 15. PMID: 33883787; PMCID: PMC8050417.
  • Deal JA, Goman AM, Albert MS, Arnold ML, Burgard S, Chisolm T, Couper D, Glynn NW, Gmelin T, Hayden KM, Mosley T, Pankow JS, Reed N, Sanchez VA, Sharrett AR, Thomas SD, Coresh J, Lin FR. Hearing Treatment for Reducing Cognitive Decline: Design and Methods for the Aging and Cognitive Health Evaluation in Elders (ACHIEVE) Randomized Controlled Trial. Alzheimers Dement(NY). 2018 Oct 5;4:499-507.
  • Liu C, Nagarajan N, Assi L, Jiang K, Powell DS, Pedersen E, Rosman L, Villavisanis D, Carlson MC, Swenor BK, Deal JA. Assessment of Hearing and Vision Impairment in Cohort Studies Collecting Cognitive Data in Older Adults. Alzheimer’s & Dementia. 2022 Feb 1. doi: 10.1002/alz.12575. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35102691.
  • Deal JA, Gross AL, Sharrett AR, Abraham AG, Coresh J, Carlson M, Griswold M, Mosley T, Power MC, Ramulu R, Reed NS, Lin FR, Swenor BK. Hearing Impairment and Missing Cognitive Test Scores in a Population-Based Study of Older Adults: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Neurocognitive Study. Alzheimer’s & Dementia. 2021 Oct;17(10):1725-1734. doi: 10.1002/alz.12339. Epub 2021 Apr 12. PMID: 33844443
Vitamin D Deficiency, Inflammation and Age-related disease in HIV-Infected Men
Changes in Sensorimotor Function as Predictors of Preclincial Alzheimer's Disease