As the eyes go, so may the mind

June 29, 2018

(HealthDay)—A new study sheds light on how vision loss is linked to mental decline in seniors.

For the study, University of Miami researchers analyzed health data from more than 2,500 adults, aged 65 to 84, who were followed from about 1993 to 2001.

The investigators found that the rate of was associated with the rate of declining mental (cognitive) function. But did not have a strong effect on vision, according to the report.

The study is the first to show that eyesight is the dominant factor in the link between vision loss and mental function, according to lead author D. Diane Zheng, a doctoral candidate in the university's department of public health sciences.

However, the study couldn't prove that vision loss was the cause of the mental decline.

Vision loss and mental decline are common in aging Americans, and this study suggests that preventing or treating eye problems may help protect against .

"The takeaway is that we need to pay more attention to preventing and treating vision loss to possibly reduce the rate of ," study co-author David Lee said in a university news release. Lee is a professor in the department of public health sciences.

The new report was published June 28 in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.

Explore further: For older adults, poor vision can lead to physical decline and cognitive problems

More information: The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on aging eyes.

Related Stories

For older adults, poor vision can lead to physical decline and cognitive problems

December 21, 2016
Nearly 65 percent of adults aged 50 and over have vision problems. Although we know that poor vision can lessen an older adult's ability to function, until now not much has been known about how poor vision impacts an older ...

As hearing fades with age, dementia risk may rise

December 7, 2017
(HealthDay)—Age can often bring a loss of hearing, and for some, mental decline in the form of dementia. But are the two linked?

Vision loss, depression may be linked, study finds

March 7, 2013
(HealthDay)—People with depression are more likely to have self-reported vision loss, according to a new study.

Common problem for older adults: Losing the five key senses

February 19, 2016
It's a well-known fact that aging can lead to losing one's senses: vision, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. In previous studies, researchers have learned about the consequences of experiencing a decline in a single sense. ...

Depression speeds up brain aging, find psychologists

May 24, 2018
Psychologists at the University of Sussex have found a link between depression and an acceleration of the rate at which the brain ages. Although scientists have previously reported that people with depression or anxiety have ...

Low rate of referral for low-vision rehabilitation

March 19, 2018
(HealthDay)—Few patients with irreversible vision impairment are referred for vision rehabilitation, according to a study published online March 15 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Recommended for you

Researchers are one step closer to developing eye drops to treat age-related macular degeneration

July 19, 2018
Scientists at the University of Birmingham are one step closer to developing an eye drop that could revolutionise treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

An orange a day keeps macular degeneration away: 15-year study

July 12, 2018
A new study has shown that people who regularly eat oranges are less likely to develop macular degeneration than people who do not eat oranges.

Injectable electronics offer powerful new tool in understanding how retinal cells work

June 28, 2018
Charles Lieber and his group are rewriting the rules of how scientists study retinal cells, and they're doing it with a single injection.

Why the eye could be the window to brain degeneration such as Alzheimer's disease

June 26, 2018
Researchers from Queen's University Belfast have shown for the first time that the eye could be a surrogate for brain degeneration like Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Microglia protect sensory cells needed for vision after retinal detachment

June 18, 2018
A research team at Massachusetts Eye and Ear has shown that microglia, the primary immune cells of the brain and retina, play a protective role in response to retinal detachment. Retinal detachment and subsequent degeneration ...

161 genetic factors for myopia identified

June 15, 2018
The international Consortium for Refractive Error and Myopia (CREAM) recently published the largest-ever genetic study of myopia in Nature Genetics. Researchers from the Gutenberg Health Study at the Medical Center of Johannes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.