A recent study suggests that failing eyesight in the elderly may have a significant link to dementia, adding to the list of already established risk factors.
Researchers from the University of Michigan evaluated 3,000 participants over 71 as part of the National Health and Aging Trends study. They found that participants with distance visual impairment had a higher rate of dementia-related symptoms (19.5%), which increased to 21.5% for near visual impairment and 32.9% for moderate to severe visual impairment, compared to 12.3% in the total participants.
The exact mechanism is not yet known, but shared brain pathways for vision and memory and conditions like diabetes could be contributing factors. Minimizing sight problems may help reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly.