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Soufiane Ajana, Daniela Weber, Catherine Helmer, Bénédicte M. Merle, Wolfgang Stuetz, Jean-François Dartigues, Marie-Bénédicte Rougier, Jean-François Korobelnik, Tilman Grune, Cécile Delcourt, Catherine Féart; Plasma Concentrations of Lutein and Zeaxanthin, Macular Pigment Optical Density, and Their Associations With Cognitive Performances Among Older Adults. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(5):1828-1835. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.17-22656.
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We investigated the cross-sectional associations between macular pigment optical density (MPOD), plasma lutein (L), and zeaxanthin (Z) concentrations and cognitive function in 184 older adults of the 3-City-Bordeaux cohort.
MPOD was measured using the two-wavelength autofluorescence method with a modified scanning laser ophthalmoscope. Plasma L and Z (L+Z) concentrations were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography and were considered either crude or expressed as a ratio of the concentration of plasma lipids (total cholesterol [TC] + triglycerides [TG]). Cognitive performances were assessed using the following four separate neuropsychological tests: the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Isaacs Set Test (IST), the Benton Visual Retention Test (BVRT), and the sum of the three free recalls of the Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test (FCSRT). These test results were summarized by a composite global cognitive z-score.
Higher MPOD at 0.5° was significantly associated with a higher composite z-score (β = 0.15, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.04–0.26), higher BVRT (β = 0.39, 95%CI 0.08–0.70), and higher IST (β = 1.16, 95%CI 0.11–2.22) performances. Higher plasma L+Z concentrations were significantly associated with higher IST scores (β = 0.97, 95%CI 0.01–1.94). Furthermore, a higher L+Z/TC+TG ratio was associated with a higher composite z-score (β = 0.12, 95%CI 0.01–0.23), along with higher IST (β = 1.02, 95%CI 0.002–2.04) and FCSRT (β = 1.55, 95%CI 0.41–2.69) performances.
This analysis suggested that both higher MPOD and L+Z concentrations were significantly associated with higher cognitive performances. However, MPOD measurements have the advantage of being a fast and representative measure of long-term carotenoid intake.
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