Eyes may predict risk for dementia

A recent study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found a link between severe retinopathy and memory loss.

The study was published in the online journal Neurology.

Based upon the fact that blood vessels in the eye resemble those found in the brain, doctors examined whether eye health might be an indicator of brain health. Researchers looked at data from a long-term heart risk factors study. A significant number of the study participants also had retinal photographs taken.

These retinal photographs were examined for signs of micro-aneurysms, hemorrhages, and blocked blood vessels in the retinas. What the researchers found was an association between moderate to severe retinopathy and a faster rate of mental decline over a period of 20 years.

This potential screening technique could assist doctors by giving them an easy way to assess a patient’s future risk for developing dementia. Also, retinal exams are noninvasive and can be done by any eye doctor.

This is particularly of interest in light of new research showing lutein and zeaxanthin may be helpful against cognitive aging.

Many people are choosing to supplement their AREDS 2 regimens with high lutein & zeaxanthin, such as VisiVite Super Lutein 444.*

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