Retinal Signs and Cognitive Decline Over 20 Years

March 29, 2018

A study looked at changes in retinal signs with fundus photography and their association with cognitive decline.

A study looked at changes in retinal signs with fundus photography and their association with cognitive decline, as measured by a composite score of neuropsychological tests over 20 years.1

The bottom line

Loss of retinal vascular integrity (ie, moderate and severe retinopathy and its components) was associated with a greater 20-year decline in cognitive function compared with no retinopathy. Differences were similar regardless of race or presence or absence of diabetes. The eye is not only the window to the soul, but also it may be an indicator of relevant cognitive decline.

Reference

1. Deal JA, Sharrett AR, Rawlings AM, et al. Retinal signs and 20-year cognitive decline in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Neurology. 2018;90:e1158-e1166.