Two studies in quick succession show that the eyes are not only the mirror of the soul, as the saying goes, but also an early marker of pathological changes that affect the brain. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases would be detectable in the eyes long before the first symptoms of these neurodegenerative diseases.
The decline in cognitive functions and visual acuity are two major problems associated with aging: it is expected that by 2050, the number of people affected by dementia will change from 53 at 132 million, while that of people with blindness will increase by 38 at 115 million.
Some observations suggest that these two conditions do not develop not independently, but could instead be linked. For example, autopsy studies carried out on people affected by Alzheimer’s disease have shown the presence of significant damage to the optic nerve and retina of these patients. A link between cognition and vision is also suggested by an analysis of data acquired by two large American studies (more than 29 participants in total), which shows that the risk of being affected by a loss of visual acuity is 2 to 3 times higher in people with cognitive dysfunction. However, these studies cannot determine whether vision loss is the cause or the consequence of the decline in cognitive functions.
Vision problems announce Alzheimer’s disease