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Bonnielin K Swenor, Beatriz Munoz, Yang An, Marilyn Albert, Susan Resnick; Digging deeper into the vision-cognition relationship: Determining the association between visual function and cognitive domains. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):3638.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The goal of this study is to examine the relationship between visual and cognitive functioning across multiple cognitive domains.
Cross-sectional analyses included Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) participants age 60 years and older. Visual function was assessed using measures of presenting and best-corrected visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and visual fields. Cognitive function was measured across multiple domains – language, memory, attention, executive function, and visuospatial ability – using scores on individual cognitive tests. These individual scores were standardized, and composite cognitive domain scores were calculated as the average of the standardized scores within each domain. Sensitivity analyses calculated domain scores excluding cognitive tests that are reliant on vision. Differences in individual and composite cognitive scores by vision variables were determined using linear regression, adjusting for age, sex, race, smoking status, education, and diabetes.
This sample included 631 participants with a mean age of 76 years. Worse presenting visual acuity (per 0.1 logMAR) was associated with lower composite scores on tests of language (-0.04; 95% CI: -0.08, -0.01), memory (-0.06; 95% CI: -0.10, -0.01), executive function (-0.05; 95% CI: -0.09, -0.01), and visuospatial ability (-0.07; 95% CI: -0.12, -0.03). Worse best-correct visual acuity (per 0.1 logMAR) was associated with lower language composite scores alone (-0.06; 95% CI: -0.09, -0.02), and worse contrast sensitivity (per 0.1 logContrast) was associated with lower composite scores on tests of executive function (-0.13; 95% CI: -0.24, -0.03), and visuospatial ability (-0.18; 95% CI: -0.31, -0.05). Worse visual fields (per point missed) was associated with lower composite scores on tests of language (-0.18; 95% CI: -0.03, -0.0006), attention (-0.02; 95% CI: -0.04, -0.005), and executive function (-0.02; 95% CI: -0.03, -0.0004).
Our results indicate that the association between visual and cognitive function differs between visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and visual fields, suggesting that patterns of poorer cognition may differ by type of vision impairment.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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