Does Retinal Arteriolar Narrowing Cause Cognitive Decline in the Elderly?

October 7, 2009

As recently reported in Neurology, a study finds that cognitive decline with advancing age is related to retinal vascular abnormalities.  This is further evidence that cognitive decline is related to microvascular abnormalities.

Over a 14 year span, over 800 patients were included in the study.  Patients were given cognitive tests and retinal photographs were obtained upon entry.  Enrollees were 48 to 67 years old.

The study found that patients with retinopathy exhibited reduced executive function and psychomotor speed.  This trend was found in several sub-test groups.

The authors feel that further research may be indicated to investigate the cost-effectiveness of ophthalmoscopy to identify persons at risk.

Read here.

Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Retina Specialist

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