Study Suggests a Link between Alzheimer’s and Untreated Poor Vision in Elderly

A University of Michigan study, soon to be published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, states 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.”

This is interesting because poor vision was typically seen as a symptom of Alzheimer’s rather than a contributing factor to the development of the disease.   The researchers state that older Americans who seek regular eye care are “64% less likely to develop dementia.”

Why?  Proper vision care and proper management of eye diseases help ensure better vision.   And better vision  is a “requirement for many of the activities that previously have been found to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. These include reading, playing board games, other mentally stimulating activities, social networking, as well as physical activity such as walking and routine exercising.”  A visual disorder may interfere with normal mobility and may also hinder a person’s ability to participate in these activities.

If you want to learn more about Alzheimer’s, in general, there was an excellent 4-part series on HBO called the Alzheimer Project.   You can view the documentary for free by clicking on the link below.