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Poorer Visual Acuity Is Associated with Declines in Cognitive Performance Across Multiple Cognitive Domains: The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study

  • Peter J. Dearborn (a1), Merrill F. Elias (a1) (a2), Kevin J. Sullivan (a1), Cara E. Sullivan (a2) and Michael A. Robbins (a1)...

Abstract

Objectives: Prior studies have found associations between visual acuity (VA) and cognitive function. However, these studies used a limited range of cognitive measures and did not control for cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVD-RFs) and baseline function. The primary objective of this study was to analyze the associations of VA and cognitive performance using a thorough neuropsychological test battery. Methods: This study used community-dwelling sample data across the sixth (2001–2006) and seventh (2006–2010) waves of the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study (n=655). Wave 6 VA as measured by the Snellen Eye Test was the primary predictor of wave 6 and wave 7 Global cognitive performance, Visual-Spatial Organization and Memory, Verbal Episodic Memory, Working Memory, Scanning and Tracking, and Executive Function. Additionally, VA was used to predict longitudinal changes in wave 7 cognitive performance (wave 6 performance adjusted). We analyzed these relationships with multiple linear and logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex, education, ethnicity, depressive symptoms, physical function deficits in addition to CVD-RFs, chronic kidney disease, homocysteine, continuous systolic blood pressure, and hypertension status. Results: Adjusted for demographic covariates and CVD-RFs, poorer VA was associated with concurrent and approximate 5-year declines in Global cognitive function, Visual-Spatial Organization and Memory, and Verbal Episodic Memory. Discussion: VA may be used in combination with other screening measures to determine risk for cognitive decline. (JINS, 2018, 24, 1–9)

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Peter J. Dearborn, 301 Little Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5742. E-mail: peterdearborn@gmail.com

References

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Keywords

Poorer Visual Acuity Is Associated with Declines in Cognitive Performance Across Multiple Cognitive Domains: The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study

  • Peter J. Dearborn (a1), Merrill F. Elias (a1) (a2), Kevin J. Sullivan (a1), Cara E. Sullivan (a2) and Michael A. Robbins (a1)...

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