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Untreated vision impairment in older adults linked to dementia

0 2 years ago

It is common for older people with dementia to also experience a deterioration in vision. A new study from the Medical Informatics Center at Peking University in China suggests it may also work the other way around.

The researchers have documented a strong association between older people who have vision issues and those who eventually develop dementia or cognitive impairment.

The study’s lead author, associate professor Beibei Xu, says:

“This study is among the first to evaluate the association between sight problems and cognitive outcomes in older adults through a comprehensive examination of all available population-based studies in English. Our findings add to the growing evidence that fading eyesight is a risk factor for developing dementia.”

However, the link between vision loss and dementia is unclear.

“Diagnosing and treating eye conditions may be beneficial — both to improve a person’s quality of life and also to potentially slow down or stop memory loss.”

— BeiBei Xu, lead author

Dr. Nathaniel Chin, from the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, who was not involved in the study, told Medical News Today:

“This is a strong study. [It] did a nice job in the methods employed for their systematic review and in their statistical approach to the large data set they collected. While they acknowledge the field has individual studies showing mixed and conflicting results, their overall assessment seems convincing that there is an association between visual impairment and cognitive decline.”

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