July 2019
Volume 60, Issue 9
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2019
Digging deeper into the vision-cognition relationship: Determining the association between visual function and cognitive domains
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Bonnielin K Swenor
    Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Beatriz Munoz
    Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Yang An
    Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States
  • Marilyn Albert
    Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Susan Resnick
    Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Bonnielin Swenor, None; Beatriz Munoz, None; Yang An, None; Marilyn Albert, None; Susan Resnick, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NIA Grant K01AG052640; Supported in part by the Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Aging, NIH
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2019, Vol.60, 3638. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      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)

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Abstract

Purpose : The goal of this study is to examine the relationship between visual and cognitive functioning across multiple cognitive domains.

Methods : 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.

Results : 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).

Conclusions : 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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