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Jonathan H Lass, Julie Belkin, Thomas Steinemann, Tatiana Majer, Alan Lerner, Sara Debanne, Grover Gilmore; Visual and cognitive improvement following cataract surgery in dementia patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):2795.
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and cataracts are both aging-related diseases, co-occurring commonly in the same individual. However, health care providers are reluctant to proceed with cataract surgery when visually indicated because of concerns regarding complications. A systematic analysis of visual and cognitive results in patients undergoing cataract surgery is warranted. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of cataract surgery on the vision, cognition and quality of life of dementia patients
Study participants are recruited from the neurology and ophthalmology clinics of University Hospitals Case and Metro Health Medical Centers. Outcomes in two groups are compared: immediate surgery following recruitment vs. delayed (or refused) surgery. Vision and cognitive status are evaluated at the time of recruitment and re-evaluated 6 months after recruitment (non-surgery) or 6 months after surgery (surgery). Recruitment of participants is ongoing with 42 participants currently in the protocol. The current analysis includes 28 participants who have completed the protocol (20 in the surgery group, 8 in the non-surgery group).
Mean changes in surgery vs. non-surgery show an improvement in vision measures in patients after surgery: logMAR OD 0.329 and -0.072, respectively; logMar OS -0.238 and -0.026, respectively. Measures of perceptual speed such as digit cancellation (mean change in surgery group = -1.462; non-surgery group = -2.400) and cognitive status (Mini-Mental State Examination [surgery group mean change =0 0.625; non-surgery group mean change= -2.125]) also have yielded better performance following surgery.
This ongoing study is demonstrating that cataract surgery can improve both the vision and cognitive status of patients diagnosed with dementia.
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