Eye Exam Predicts Dementia
The optical coherence tomography (OCT) has recently been used to help ophthalmologists diagnose dementia in patients. This simple and easy eye exam can help predict whether a person is at risk of dementia by looking at the retina located in the back of the eye through the use of the OCT.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that OCT’s are used to diagnose a variety of macular problems such as macular holes, edemas and puckers along with other eye problems such as glaucoma, retinopathies and vitreous traction. Yet a new study by Mutlu, Colijn and Ikram out of the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, (published in JAMA Neurology) found that of the 32,000 Silver Sagers studied between 40 and 69 years young, those with the thinnest retinal nerve fiber layers (RNFL) were more likely to do poorly or fail at least one of (or more) of the memory, reasoning and reaction time tests.
Since we know that early signs of dementia can be associated with memory loss, cognitive decline and lower reaction times on familiar tasks as well as the association between retina and optic nerve deterioration and those with dementia has already been recognized by the scientific community – this test can be useful in early diagnosis for potential dementia and perhaps getting help earlier rather than later.
Although some researchers question the validity of the association between dementia and RNFL thickness, the OCT test is non-invasive and inexpensive way to screen adults for one of the most prevalent illnesses of this population.
While there is no known cure for dementia yet, this finding is big. If you are at risk, there are 6 ways to help slow down or prevent dementia: healthy diet, regular exercise, mental stimulation, stress management, quality sleep and maintaining an active social life. Of course, Silver Sage suggests incorporating these six life style habits as a priority regardless of your situation.
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