“Old Eyeglasses” by Leyram Odacrem is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Vision and Cognition Change Together As Older Adults Age

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Old Eyeglasses” by Leyram Odacrem is licensed under CC BY 2.0Diane Zheng MS
NEI F-31 Research Fellow and a Ph.D. candidate in Epidemiology
Department of Public Health Sciences
University of Miami

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Worsening vision and declining cognitive function are common conditions among older people. Understanding the association between them could be beneficial to alleviate age related cognitive decline.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Our study found that vision and cognition are associated not only cross-sectionally in older adults, they are associated longitudinally.  Vision and cognition are changing together as older adults aging. The rate of worsening vision was associated with rate of declining cognitive function in older adults. More importantly, vision has a stronger influence on cognition than the reverse.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Worsening vision in older adults may be adversely associated with future cognitive functioning.  The study finding suggests maintaining good vision through the prevention and treatment of vision disorders in old persons may be a strategy to lessen age-related cognitive changes.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: The study population was community residing older adults, they had fairly good cognitive functioning in general.  Further work in populations that include a wider range of cognitive functioning are needed to fully exam the direction and driver of the vision-cognition relationship. 

No disclose.  Study was funded by NIH grants.


Zheng DD, Swenor BK, Christ SL, West SK, Lam BL, Lee DJ. Longitudinal Associations Between Visual Impairment and Cognitive FunctioningThe Salisbury Eye Evaluation StudyJAMA Ophthalmol. Published online June 28, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.2493

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Last Updated on June 29, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD