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Bonnielin K Swenor, Stephen Lesche, Varshini Varadaraj, Pradeep Y Ramulu; Short and sustained reading speeds in AMD patients: An interaction with cognitive status. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):1947.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Reading difficulty is the primary complaint among patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). However, commonly used measures of reading ability test over short durations, such as one sentence at a time, and little is known about the effect of AMD on sustained reading. In this cross-sectional study, short duration reading speed derived from MNRead testing and reading speed over a sustained period using the 20-minute Sustained Silent Reading Test are compared across AMD patients and controls.
Participants were recruited from the Wilmer Eye Institute. Participants were eligible if they were 70-90 years old, self-identified as literate, and native English speakers. AMD participants were required to have better eye visual acuity between 20/32 and 20/100 and controls had visual acuity better than 20/32 in both eyes. Data collection included measures of vision, demographic characteristics, and mini-mental state examination (MMSE) scores, and MNRead and Sustained Reading Test reading speeds. T-tests and linear regression were used to compare reading speeds across AMD status.
Analyses included 17 AMD patients and 25 controls. As compared to controls, AMD participants read 48 words per minute (wpm) slower on the MNRead test [195 vs 147 wpm, p<0.001] and 47 wpm slower on the Sustained Reading Test [220 vs 173 wpm, p=0.036]. After adjusting for age, AMD patients read 42 wpm slower [95% CI:-67,-17] on the MNRead test, but the difference in Sustained reading speeds between those with AMD and controls was not statistically significant [β=-31; 95% CI:-84,+22]. However, among those with an MMSE score <28 [n=20] (indicating some cognitive impairment) AMD patients read 16 wpm slower than controls [95%CI: -80,+110]. Conversely, among those with a MMSE score of ≥28 [n=22] (indicating no cognitive impairment) AMD patients read 77 wpm slower than controls [95% CI:-139,-15]. For MNRead, AMD patients read 19 wpm slower than controls [95%CI:-56,+18] among those with an MMSE <28, but read 56 wpm slower [95% CI:-95,-18] among those with a MMSE score ≥28.
AMD affects both short and sustained reading speeds, and this effect varies by cognitive status. Our findings suggest the impact of AMD on reading speed may be overshadowed in patients with some degree of cognitive impairment.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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