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Alzheimer’s and Eyesight: An Important Connection

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Alzheimer’s and Eyesight: An Important Connection

A University of Michigan study finds a link between vision and Alzheimer’s.  The study was based on medical information and surveys from 625 people compiled from 1992-2005. None of these individuals had dementia at the beginning of the study.  Using a scale ranking vision from excellent (one) to totally blind (six), researchers found that the risk for dementia increased by an average of 52 percent with each step up the scale. The study’s lead author, Mary A.M. Rogers, PhD, said the study’s results suggest that problems with declining vision precedes dementia and that treatment of vision problems, including proper prescription eyeglasses, cataract removal and lens insertion, corneal transplant and treatment for retinal detachment, lesions and other eye disorders, decreases the probability of developing dementia.

Why this link between vision and dementia?  Dr. Rogers suggests that people with poor vision may be less likely to participate in the kinds of activities that protect cognitive function, such as reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing board games and engaging in physical activities. She also said that other research indicates that vision loss can lead to structural changes in the brain, but notes that more studies are needed to understand why.

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.

160 comments

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2:04AM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

very interesting, thanks for sharing

8:23PM PDT on Apr 26, 2012

Always good to learn something new, thanks :)

6:30PM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

Interesting information.

8:54PM PDT on Oct 15, 2011

great articles, thanks for sharing

12:02PM PDT on Oct 15, 2011

Good information - I had heard this before and it makes sense.

8:56PM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

I didn't know there was a link between eye problems and dementia. Thanks for the information.

2:34PM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

Thank you

2:08PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

It is a bit alarming!

1:28PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

thanks for info

12:49PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

Thanks for the information. This is very helpful. My dearest friend has early onset Alzheimers. I will pass this on to her.

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