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Cognition, eye disease may be linked.

Cognitive impairment may be tied to age-related macular degeneration, according to results of the first large-scale trial to underscore a possible association between the two disorders.

Patients with cognitive impairment were more likely to have reduced visual acuity and/or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), compared with those who were not cognitively impaired, reported investigators in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, a multicenter study of AMD and age-related cataract (Arch. Opthalmol. 2006;124:537-43).

Traci E. Clemons, Ph.D., and her associates followed 2,946 participants (mean age, 75 years); their visual acuity and macular status were assessed at regular intervals throughout the study.

Participants also completed six cognitive function tests, including the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination, a test that evaluates orientation, language, and memory; the Logical Memory test, a subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised, which evaluates short- and long-term memory; and the Buschke Selective Reminding Test, which evaluates verbal memory. Other components of the full battery of tests measured memory, attention, and verbal fluency.

Mean cognitive function decreased significantly as macular abnormalities increased. After adjusting the data for such variables as age, sex, race, and smoking status, the researchers determined that increased macular disease was associated with a significant reduction in mean cognitive function scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Logical Memory test.

Participants with visual acuity worse than 20/40 in each eye were more likely to be cognitively impaired, compared with those whose visual acuity was 20/40 or better in each eye, the investigators said.
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Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 15, 2006
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