Visual impairment related to cognitive decline

HealthDay News – Decreased visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and deterioration in stereo acuity are linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline in elderly community residents, according to a study published online on JAMA Network Open on July 16.

Varshini Varadaraj, MD, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues studied the relationship between vision and cognition across multiple cognitive domains using various visual measurements. The analysis included 1,202 participants (mean age 71.1 years) in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (mean follow-up, 6.9 years).

The researchers found that poorer visual acuity (per 0.1 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution) at the beginning was associated with a greater decrease in speech (β, -0.0035) and memory (β, -0.0052) domain scores . There were major deteriorations in speech (β, -0.010), memory (β, -0.009), alertness (β, -0.010) and visuospatial ability (β, -0.010), which were associated with poorer contrast sensitivity ( per 0.1 log units.)) at the baseline. In addition, the decreases in language tests (β, -0.019) and memory (β, -0.032) were significantly greater in participants with impaired stereo acuity during the study period.

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“These results provide further evidence of the correlation between eyesight and eye health with healthy brain aging and underscore the need to research the effects of vision and eye health interventions on cognitive outcomes,” the authors write.

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Neurocognitive Disorders

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