Eyes on Alzheimer’s: Examine Hyperlinks Age-Associated Sight Loss to Cognitive Decline

Eyes on Alzheimer’s: Examine Hyperlinks Age-Associated Sight Loss to Cognitive Decline

Abstract: Imaginative and prescient impairment in these over 71 may very well be a possible danger issue for dementia, a brand new research suggests. By analyzing the Nationwide Well being and Growing old Developments Examine (NHATS), the researchers discovered a notable affiliation between sight loss and the prevalence of dementia amongst practically 3,000 US members.

Whereas additional investigation is required to grasp the precise explanation for this connection, the findings probably add sight loss to the record of modifiable danger components for dementia.

Key Info:

  1. The research concerned practically 3,000 US residents over 71 years previous and located a major hyperlink between sight loss and the prevalence of dementia.
  2. At the moment, sight loss shouldn’t be thought of among the many 12 established danger components that affect as much as 40% of dementia circumstances, corresponding to smoking, hypertension, and listening to loss.
  3. A number of potentialities may clarify this connection, together with shared mind pathways inflicting each imaginative and prescient loss and reminiscence decline or different situations like diabetes that may trigger each imaginative and prescient issues and dementia.

Supply: Alzheimer’s Analysis UK

A brand new research means that sight loss in folks over 71 years previous could also be linked to dementia.

The research was revealed on July 13 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

The researchers on the College of Michigan within the US analyzed knowledge from practically 3,000 US residents over 71 years previous, who had been half of a bigger research, the Nationwide Well being and Growing old Developments Examine (NHATS).

This shows an eye.
What they discovered was that members with sight loss had been extra more likely to have dementia in comparison with folks with no issues with their imaginative and prescient. Credit score: Neuroscience Information

This bigger research examined the members’ eyesight and recorded their scores for short-distance imaginative and prescient, long-distance imaginative and prescient and the way nicely they had been in a position to distinguish objects towards totally different backgrounds. In addition they came upon whether or not the members had dementia from the NHATS research knowledge.

What they discovered was that members with sight loss had been extra more likely to have dementia in comparison with folks with no issues with their imaginative and prescient.

As much as 40% of dementia circumstances may very well be influenced by 12 danger components which we could possibly forestall or affect, corresponding to smoking, hypertension and listening to loss. Sight loss shouldn’t be at the moment one in every of these 12 essential danger components, however the brand new proof revealed right this moment suggests that there’s a hyperlink between sight loss and dementia.

Dr. Susan Mitchell, Head of Coverage at Alzheimer’s Analysis UK, stated, “This can be a essential time for dementia analysis, as proof builds about how components corresponding to sight loss are linked to dementia. Research like this are essential for figuring out potential new dementia danger components and in the end figuring out the right way to probably forestall some circumstances of dementia from occurring within the first place.”

“This new research supplies essential new proof linking sight loss to dementia and ties in with earlier research. However this isn’t definitive, and it is going to be essential for future research to search out out exactly what’s inflicting this obvious hyperlink, as it will decide what, if any, potential there may be for prevention.”

“There are a number of potentialities—for instance, diabetes is a key danger issue for dementia, and this situation may trigger imaginative and prescient issues. Or it could be that there are shared pathways within the mind that trigger each imaginative and prescient loss and a decline in reminiscence and considering talents.

“Some circumstances of sight loss are preventable, and others might be handled efficiently—if this hyperlink is confirmed, this might imply individuals who take steps to reduce sight issues as they become old may additionally assist scale back their danger of situations like dementia.”

“Within the meantime, we are able to all take motion to guard our mind well being, from protecting our hearts wholesome to having fun with new actions and social interactions.

“If you wish to know extra about how your personal life-style checks out when it comes to protecting your mind wholesome, you may take Alzheimer’s Analysis UK’s ‘Suppose Mind Well being check-in’ by visiting https://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/brain-health/check-in/

About this Alzheimer’s illness analysis information

Writer: Press Office
Supply: Alzheimer’s Research UK
Contact: Press Workplace – Alzheimer’s Analysis UK
Picture: The picture is credited to Neuroscience Information

Unique Analysis: Closed entry.
Objectively Measured Visual Impairment and Dementia Prevalence in Older Adults in the US” by Olivia J. Killeen et al. JAMA Ophthalmology


Objectively Measured Visible Impairment and Dementia Prevalence in Older Adults within the US


Estimates of the affiliation between visible impairment (VI) and dementia within the US inhabitants are based mostly on self-reported survey knowledge or measures of visible perform which might be a minimum of 15 years previous. Older adults are at excessive danger of VI and dementia so there’s a want for up-to-date nationwide estimates based mostly on goal assessments.


To estimate the affiliation between VI and dementia in older US adults based mostly on goal visible and cognitive perform testing.

Design, Setting, and Contributors

This secondary evaluation of the 2021 Nationwide Well being and Growing old Developments Examine (NHATS), a population-based, nationally consultant panel research, included 3817 respondents 71 years and older. Knowledge had been analyzed from January to March 2023.


In 2021, NHATS integrated tablet-based assessments of distance and close to visible acuity and distinction sensitivity (CS) with ordinary correction.

Essential Outcomes and Measures

VI was outlined as distance visible acuity greater than 0.30 logMAR, close to visible acuity greater than 0.30 logMAR, and CS greater than 1 SD under the pattern imply. Dementia was outlined as scoring 1.5 SDs or extra under the imply in 1 or extra cognitive domains, an AD8 Dementia Screening Interview Rating indicating possible dementia, or recognized dementia. Poisson regression estimated dementia prevalence ratios adjusted for covariates.


Of 2967 included members, 1707 (weighted share, 55.3%) had been feminine, and the median (IQR) age was 76.9 (77-86) years. The weighted prevalence of dementia was 12.3% (95% CI, 10.9-13.7) and elevated with close to VI (21.5%; 95% CI, 17.7-25.3), distance VI (delicate: 19.1%; 95% CI, 13.0-25.2; reasonable, extreme, or blind: 32.9%; 95% CI, 24.1- 41.8), and CS impairment (25.9%; 95% CI, 20.5-31.3). Dementia prevalence was increased amongst members with close to VI and CS impairment than these with out (close to VI prevalence ratio: 1.40; 95% CI, 1.16-1.69; CS impairment prevalence ratio: 1.31; 95% CI, 1.04-1.66) and amongst members with reasonable to extreme distance VI or blindness (prevalence ratio: 1.72; 95% CI, 1.26-2.35) after adjustment for covariates.

Conclusions and Relevance

On this survey research, all varieties of objectively measured VI had been related to the next dementia prevalence. As most VI is preventable, prioritizing imaginative and prescient well being could also be essential for optimizing cognitive perform.

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