Alzheimers: ‘Poor Vision’ in Older People - If Untreated - More Likely to Lead to Alzheimer's

Untreated ‘Poor Vision’ in Older People - far More Likely to Lead to Alzheimers

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A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, undertaken by the University of Michigan discovered that elderly people with visual disorders that are left untreated are significantly more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease - the most common form of dementia.

The study shows that those with poor vision who did visit an ophthalmologist at least once for an examination were 64% less likely to develop dementia and points to poor vision as a predictor of dementia rather than as a symptom after the diagnosis.

The ability to see properly is seen as a crucial factor in allowing elderly people to get involved in those key activities that are known to help in lowering the risks of Alzheimers - activities like reading, playing board games, mentally stimulating activities, social networking and physical activity such as walking and routine exercising. 

Lead researcher Mary Rogers explains:

“Visual problems can have serious consequences and are very common among the elderly, but many of them are not seeking treatment. Our results indicate that it is important for elderly individuals with visual problems to seek medical attention so that the causes of the problems can be identified and treated.”

 

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