Thinner retinal nerve fiber layer tied to worse cognitive function

June 26, 2018

(HealthDay)—For individuals without neurodegenerative disease, a thinner retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) is associated with worse cognitive function and increased likelihood of future cognitive decline, according to a study published online June 25 in the JAMA Neurology.

Fang Ko, M.D., from Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the potential of RNFL thickness in identifying those at increased risk of cognitive decline in the U.K. Biobank cohort of U.K. residents aged 40 to 69 years at enrollment. Four basic cognitive tests were performed in 32,038 people at baseline and were repeated about three years later in a subset of participants.

The researchers found that there was a correlation for a thinner RNFL with worse cognitive performance on baseline assessment. Those in the thinnest quintile of RNFL were 11 percent more likely to fail at least one cognitive after adjustment for potential confounders. A total of 1,251 people underwent follow-up cognitive testing. The likelihood of having at least one test score worse at follow-up cognitive testing was increased for participants with an RNFL thickness in the two thinnest quintiles (quintile 1: odds ratio, 1.92; quintile 2, odds ratio, 2.08).

"This preclinical observation has implications for future research, prevention, and treatment of dementia," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Explore further: Older age tied to poorer course of major depressive disorder

More information: Abstract/Full Text

Related Stories

Older age tied to poorer course of major depressive disorder

June 8, 2018
(HealthDay)—Older age is associated with poorer course of major depressive disorder (MDD), according to a study published online June 7 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Retinopathy associated with accelerated cognitive decline

March 1, 2018
(HealthDay)—Retinopathy is associated with accelerated rates of 20-year cognitive decline, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in Neurology.

Low-dose aspirin no aid against cognitive decline

May 9, 2017
(HealthDay)—Low-dose aspirin does not protect against cognitive decline, according to a review published April 20 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Higher HDL-C linked to better cognition in older DM patients

June 2, 2018
(HealthDay)—Higher serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) is associated with better executive function among older patients with diabetes mellitus (DM), according to a study published online May 19 in the Journal ...

Review links albuminuria to cognitive impairment, dementia

February 13, 2017
(HealthDay)—Albuminuria is associated with cognitive impairment, dementia, and cognitive decline, according to a review published online Feb. 2 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Late, but not too late—screening for olfactory dysfunction

April 20, 2018
In a large population-based study of randomly selected participants in Germany, researchers found that participants aged 65-74 years with olfactory dysfunction showed impaired cognitive performance. Interestingly, this strong ...

Recommended for you

Practice imperfect—repeated cognitive testing can obscure early signs of dementia

July 12, 2018
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative condition that often begins with mild cognitive impairment or MCI, making early and repeated assessments of cognitive change crucial to diagnosis and treatment.

The 'Big Bang' of Alzheimer's: Scientists ID genesis of disease, focus efforts on shape-shifting tau

July 10, 2018
Scientists have discovered a "Big Bang" of Alzheimer's disease – the precise point at which a healthy protein becomes toxic but has not yet formed deadly tangles in the brain.

'Skinny fat' in older adults may predict dementia, Alzheimer's risk

July 5, 2018
A new study has found that "skinny fat—the combination of low muscle mass and strength in the context of high fat mass—may be an important predictor of cognitive performance in older adults. While sarcopenia, the loss ...

Pathway of Alzheimer's degeneration discovered

July 5, 2018
Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro) of McGill University have used a unique approach to track brain degeneration in Alzheimer's disease, uncovering a pathway through which degeneration ...

Brain study paves way for therapy for common cause of dementia

July 4, 2018
Scientists have uncovered a potential approach to treat one of the commonest causes of dementia and stroke in older people.

Sleep disorder linked with changes to brain structure typical of dementia

July 4, 2018
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is associated with changes to the structure of the brain that are also seen in the early stages of dementia, according to a study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

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.