June 2020
Volume 61, Issue 7
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2020
Words on the brain: Correlations among measurements of vision, hearing and cognition in older adults referred for low vision rehabilitation
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gabrielle Aubin
    Psychology, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation (CRIR) du Montréal métropolitain, Quebec, Canada
  • Karine Elalouf
    Concordia University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • Andrea Urqueta Alfaro
    School of Optometry, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
    Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation (CRIR) du Montréal métropolitain, Quebec, Canada
  • Aaron P Johnson
    Concordia University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
    Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation (CRIR) du Montréal métropolitain, Quebec, Canada
  • Julie-Andrée Marinier
    School of Optometry, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
    Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation (CRIR) du Montréal métropolitain, Quebec, Canada
  • Eva Kehayia
    McGill University, Quebec, Canada
    Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation (CRIR) du Montréal métropolitain, Quebec, Canada
  • Jean-Pierre Gagné
    Audiologie et orthophonie, Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada
    Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation (CRIR) du Montréal métropolitain, Quebec, Canada
  • Caitlin Murphy
    Concordia University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
    Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation (CRIR) du Montréal métropolitain, Quebec, Canada
  • Kathy M Pichora-Fuller
    University of Toronto at Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  • Natalie Phillips
    Concordia University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • Walter Wittich
    School of Optometry, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
    Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation (CRIR) du Montréal métropolitain, Quebec, Canada
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Gabrielle Aubin, None; Karine Elalouf, None; Andrea Urqueta Alfaro, None; Aaron Johnson, None; Julie-Andrée Marinier, None; Eva Kehayia, None; Jean-Pierre Gagné, None; Caitlin Murphy, None; Kathy M Pichora-Fuller, None; Natalie Phillips, None; Walter Wittich, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (#252235)
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2020, Vol.61, 1569. doi:
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      Gabrielle Aubin, Karine Elalouf, Andrea Urqueta Alfaro, Aaron P Johnson, Julie-Andrée Marinier, Eva Kehayia, Jean-Pierre Gagné, Caitlin Murphy, Kathy M Pichora-Fuller, Natalie Phillips, Walter Wittich; Words on the brain: Correlations among measurements of vision, hearing and cognition in older adults referred for low vision rehabilitation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):1569.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common causes of low vision among older adults. Therefore, with the current demographic shift towards an older population, it is expected that the number of cases of AMD will drastically increase in the coming years. AMD has been associated with cognitive decline and a higher risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. It is therefore essential to gain a better understanding of AMD and its relation with cognition. The sensory deprivation hypothesis states that a persistent absence of adequate sensory input will create neuronal atrophy, later resulting in cognitive decline. In line with this hypothesis, reducing the effort needed for reading through the use of assistive magnification devices could positively affect the cognitive function of older adults with AMD. Therefore, the goal of the present project is to examine the relationship among sensory and cognitive variables in older adults with AMD.

Methods : Thirty older adults (age range 66-99 years, Mage = 83.4, SD = 8,42) with AMD (visual acuity ranging from 6/12 to 6/800 in the better eye) who were seeking reading rehabilitation completed tests of vision, hearing and cognition before their first intervention. These baseline data have been analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficients.

Results : Before low vision rehabilitation, the data did not indicate any significant correlations between the sensory and the cognitive measures. Age was negatively correlated with scores on the blind version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA-B), with older participants scoring more poorly, r = -.378, p < .05, whereby 21 of 30 (70%) failed the MoCA-B. The measures of cognition correlated significantly with each other (range r = 0.43 to 0.84, p < .05), while reading speed and reading acuity were related as well, r = .57, p < .05.

Conclusions : The data reflect the great variability in functional levels often observed among older adults. Given the advanced age of our participants, a larger sample is required to include co-variates in the analyses. This cross-sectional approach did not reveal the effects we may expect in a longitudinal design, as we will follow these participants for 12 months in order to explore the potential benefit of low vision reading rehabilitation on cognition in older adults with AMD.

This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.

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