A rare connection between retinal layer thickness and cognitive decline
Retinal layer thickness is hypothesized to be related to cognitive function in patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease. However, longitudinal cohort studies of the healthy older population are very limited.
A new cohort study found that baseline macular retinal nerve fiber layer thickness is associated with baseline cognitive function scores and follow-up cognitive decline. These findings suggest that macular retinal nerve fiber layer thickness could be considered a predictive biomarker for evaluating cognitive function in older individuals.The Study is published in JAMA Opthamalogy.
A total of 430 randomly sampled individuals 60 years or older participated in the baseline assessment, 215 of whom completed 5 years of follow-up. Using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, the study team assessed the thickness of 6 retinal layers in the macular region, the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layers (RNFLs), and the subfoveal choroid at baseline.
Thestudy included 430 participants. A thinner baseline total macular retinal nerve fiber layers thickness was associated with a larger decline in the scores during the follow-up period. Furthermore, participants with baseline total macular retinal nerve fiber layers thickness below the lowest quartile cutoff value presented a greater decline in cognitive scores and a higher prevalence of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease than those with retinal nerve fiber layers thickness above the lowest quartile cutoff value.
Hence, it was highlighted that macularretinal nerve fiber layers thickness could be used as a prognostic biomarker of long-term cognitive decline in adults 60 years or older
Dr. Nandita Mohan
BDS, MDS( Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry)