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Bonnielin K. Swenor, Stacey Seabrook, Sheila K. West, Pradeep Y. Ramulu; Association between Cognitive Resources and Reading Speed among Patients with Glaucoma and Dry Eye. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):5453.
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To examine the relationship between cognitive reserves and sustained reading speed among glaucoma, dry eye and control patients.
A total of 78 patients, age 50 years and older, were recruited from the Wilmer Eye Institute Glaucoma Clinic. All participants were required to have visual acuity of 20/40 or better in at least on eye (20/40 or better in both eyes were required for controls). Cognitive reserves were measured using the Brief Test of Attention (BTA), an auditory test of divided attention, which is scored on a scale of 0 to 10, with10 indicating the highest score. Sustained reading speed (words/minute) was assessed over a 30-minute testing period using a standard reading passage. Administration of the BTA was randomized to either before or after the sustained reading period. Linear regression methods were used to determine the association between BTA score and average reading speed.
BTA scores did not differ significantly between patients who were administered the BTA before the sustained reading test (mean=7.5) and patients who were administered BTA after the sustained reading test (mean=7.4) (p=0.83). The mean BTA score of the total study population was 7.4, and the mean sustained reading speed was 219 words/minute. A comparison of mean BTA score of controls, glaucoma patients, and dry eye patients (7.7, 6.5, and 8.4, respectively) failed to reach statistical significance. Unadjusted linear regression indicated that for every unit increase in BTA score, reading speed increased by 12.4 words/minute (95% CI: 6.0 to 18.8). After adjustment for age, sex, race, near distance acuity, and disease status the association was still significantly significant, with an increase in reading speed of 7.9 words/minute for each unit increase in BTA score (95%CI: 1.0 to 14.9).
Declines in cognitive reserves (as measured by the BTA) may slow sustained reading speed in glaucoma and dry eye patients with visual acuity better than 20/40 in at least one eye. However, additional studies are required to better define the relationship between cognitive reserves and sustained reading speed.
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