25 May 2009

Reduced cognitive function linked to early age-related macular degeneration

Age-related eye disease may be associated with cognitive impairment
JAMA & Archives: 11 May 2009
Older adults with low scores on tests of cognitive function, including thinking, learning and memory appear more likely to have the early stages of the eye disease age-related macular degeneration, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)—the leading cause of visual impairment in industrialized nations—has long been thought to share a common pathway with Alzheimer's disease, according to background information in the article. First, both conditions involve similar changes in the brain and eye, including the buildup of protein fragments known as beta-amyloid. "Second, clinical studies suggest that AMD and Alzheimer's disease share similar vascular risk factors, such as hypertension [high blood pressure] and cigarette smoking," the authors write. "Both AMD and Alzheimer's disease have been linked to an increased risk of stroke." … > full press release : review by MedPage Today

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