May 2007
Volume 48, Issue 13
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2007
Is Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness Related to Cognitive Function in Healthy Individuals?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • L. M. Koolwijk van
    Glaucoma Service, Rotterdam Eye Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • D. D. G. Despriet
    Ophthalmology,
    Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • B. A. Oostra
    Genetic Epidemiology Unit, Departments of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Clinical Genetics,
    Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • C. M. van Duijn
    Genetic Epidemiology Unit, Departments of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Clinical Genetics,
    Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • C. C. W. Klaver
    Ophthalmology,
    Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • H. G. Lemij
    Glaucoma Service, Rotterdam Eye Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships L.M. Koolwijk van, None; D.D.G. Despriet, None; B.A. Oostra, None; C.M. van Duijn, None; C.C.W. Klaver, None; H.G. Lemij, Carl Zeiss Meditec, F; Carl Zeiss Meditec, C.
  • Footnotes
    Support The Rotterdam Eye Hospital Research Foundation, The Center for Medical Systems Biology, Swart van Essen Foundation, The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2007, Vol.48, 493. doi:
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      L. M. Koolwijk van, D. D. G. Despriet, B. A. Oostra, C. M. van Duijn, C. C. W. Klaver, H. G. Lemij; Is Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness Related to Cognitive Function in Healthy Individuals?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):493.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose:: The amount of retinal ganglion cells has been suggested to correlate with cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (Iseri et al, J Neuro-Ophthalmol 2006;26:18-24). We investigated the association between retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness and cognitive function in a large Caucasian population.

Methods:: We performed ophthalmologic and neuropsychological examinations among 1625 subjects (mean age 46.5 years, range 18 - 85) from the Erasmus Rucphen Family (ERF) study, a family-based cohort study in an isolated population in the Netherlands. We measured RNFL thickness with scanning laser polarimetry (GDx VCC, Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc., Dublin, CA, USA). We assessed different domains of cognition with the Dutch Adult Reading Test, Auditory Verbal Learning Test, a semantic word fluency test, part B of the Trail Making Test, card III of the Stroop Color Word Test, and a block design test. We studied the associations by linear regression analyses with adjustments for age, gender and level of inbreeding and also with additional adjustments for other potentially confounding factors. The analyses were also stratified by age-category: 18-39 yrs (N=551), 40-59 yrs (N=760) and 60+ yrs (N=314).

Results:: The RNFL thickness parameters TSNIT average, superior average and inferior average were significantly associated with a better performance in all cognitive tests except for the Stroop test. These results were independent of blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, and visual acuity. The associations were significant for the age-categories 18-39 yrs and 40-59 yrs, but did not reach statistical significance in individuals aged 60 yrs and older.

Conclusions:: RNFL thickness was associated with different domains of cognitive function in young to middle-aged adults in this healthy population.

Keywords: nerve fiber layer • imaging methods (CT, FA, ICG, MRI, OCT, RTA, SLO, ultrasound) • memory 
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