Sumary of Risk of dementia significantly exacerbated by eye conditions:
- The research, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, has signified that a range of eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetes-related eye disease, increase an individual’s risk of dementia.
- One of the principal signs of dementia is vision impairment, with reduced stimulation of visual sensory pathways understood to increase the progression of the neurodegenerative disease.
- Previously, minor investigations have indicated that there might be a correlation between these eye conditions and cognitive impairment, in addition to systematic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and stroke, also being associated risk factors.
- The data illuminated that age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetes-related eye disease, but not glaucoma, were independently associated with increased risk of dementia from any cause.
- The risk was 26% higher in those with age-related macular degeneration, 11% higher in those with cataracts, and 61% higher in those with diabetes-related eye disease compared to those who did not have any eye conditions at the start of the study.
- Despite glaucoma not being associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, it was discovered to cause an elevated risk of vascular dementia.
- The team ascertained from this that diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and depression, were all linked with an increased risk of dementia.
- Having any of these systemic conditions in combination with an eye condition further exacerbated the risk of dementia, with the greatest risk displayed in participants who had diabetes-related eye disease and a systemic condition.