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Visual Impairment Associated With a Decline in Cognitive Function

Worsening vision and declining cognitive function are common conditions among older people. Understanding the association between them could help reduce age-related cognitive changes. A study of more than 2,500 adults aged 65 and older found rate of worsening vision was associated with rate of declining cognitive function. More importantly, vision has a stronger influence on cognition than the reverse. The study finding suggests maintaining good vision through the prevention and treatment of vision disorders in old persons may be a strategy to lessen age-related cognitive changes.

"Longitudinal Associations Between Visual Impairment and Cognitive Functioning: The Salisbury Eye Evaluation Study" by D. Diane Zheng, MS; Bonnielin K. Swenor, PhD; Sharon L. Christ, PhD; Sheila K. West, PhD; Byron L. Lam, MD; and David J. Lee, PhD, was published in JAMA Ophthalmology, along with the commentary, "Treating the Eyes to Help the Brain: The Association Between Visual and Cognitive Function," by Paul J. Foster, PhD, FRCS, (Ed); Sharon Y. L. Chua, PhD; and Axel Petzold, MD, PhD.

Source: JAMA Ophthalmology