AMD Linked to Cognitive Decline

Seniors who experience cognitive decline and don’t do well on memory, language, and concentration tests are more likely to be suffering from the early developing macular degeneration. Researchers found that patients with impaired memory are more likely to have AMD without regard to their age, their education, and vascular risk factors that are commonly tied to cognitive difficulties.

The researchers evaluated over 2000 patients from 69 to 97 years old, who were part of a heart health study.  Their cognitive functioning was assessed and they were also evaluated for dementia with neuropsychological testing methods.

After controlling for age, gender, race, and location, the researchers found that patients with poor cognitive functioning were more likely to have early AMD than were patients with higher assessments.  Analysis additionally controlled for blood pressure, cholesterol level, diabetes, education and whether and how much the patients smoked, as well as whether the patients had a particular apolipoprotein E genotype, and found the connection to be even greater.  However the researchers did not find a tie of dementia or Alzheimers’ with AMD development.


Researchers: Dr. Tien Yin Wong, and associates, Department of Ophthalmology, Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Published:  Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Cognitive Function, and Dementia – The Cardiovascular Health Study, Baker, et al, Arch Ophthalmol. 2009;127(5):667-673.