In a study from Seoul National University, scientists found that macular retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness is associated with cognitive decline in older adults.
Glaucoma is generally described as a loss of retinal ganglion cell axons. This loss is routinely diagnosed by the presence of thinning of the optic nerve neuroretinal rim, and peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL).
In the study, researchers examined the association between retinal layer thickness and cognitive impairment, and future cognitive decline.
They tested 430 Korean individuals aged 60 years or older; 215 completed a mean of 5.4 years of follow-up.
The researchers found a link between baseline macular RNFL thickness and Alzheimer’s Disease score and cognitive function score.
A larger decline in the scores was seen in association with thinner baseline total macular RNFL thickness.
Furthermore, a greater decline in cognitive scores and a higher prevalence of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease were seen for participants with thinner macular RNFL thickness.
The team suggests that a thinner macular RNFL may predict a decline in cognitive performance in older people.
Overall, macular RNFL thickness may be considered a noninvasive biomarker for assessing changes in cognitive function in older adults
If you care about eye health, please read studies about diet linked to blinding eye diseases in older people, and vitamin B3 could help treat common blinding eye diseases.
The research was published in JAMA Ophthalmology and conducted by Hyeong Min Kim et al.
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