12:23 am - Thursday January 24, 2019

New Study: Eye Health can affect Brain Health


According to a study published in a medical journal of the American Academy of People with Damage to the Retina are likely to have problems in the BrainNeurology, people with mild vascular disease that causes damage to the retina in the eye are more likely to have problems with thinking and memory skills because they may also have vascular disease in the brain.

Retinopathy causes damage to the retina. During the course of the new study, there were no significant symptoms as the damage was mild enough.

Study author Mary H, Dr PH, MPH, of the University of California, San Francisco said, “Problems with the tiny blood vessels in the eye may be a sign that there are also problems with the blood vessels in the brain that can lead to cognitive problems. This could be very useful if a simple eye screening could give us an early indication that people might be at risk of problems with their brain health and functioning.”

Five hundred and eleven women with an average age of sixty nine were involved in the study. Every year for up to ten years, the women took tests of their thinking and memory skills.

Scans were taken of their brains about eight years into the study & their eye health was tested about four years into the study.

Women affected by retinopathy totaled thirty nine. On average women with retinopathy had lower scores on the cognitive tests than the women who did not have retinopathy.

Compared to women who did not have retinopathy, the women with retinopathy had more areas of small vascular damage within the brain, with forty seven percent larger volumes of areas of damage.

The women with retinopathy had sixty eight percent larger volumes of areas of damage in the parietal lobe of the brain.

Even after adjusting for high blood pressure and diabetes, the results remained the same, which can be a factor in vascular issues in the eye and the brain.

The women with retinopathy had similar scores as the women without the disease during test of visual acuity.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and the National Institute on Aging supported the study.

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