Visual perception disorders and Alzheimer’s disease

Géraldine Zamansky, journalist for the Magazin de la Santé on France 5, speaks today on a health issue that interests people affected by aging and age-related vision problems.

franceinfo: According to an original Australian study, should we really think about testing the condition of the eyes before fearing the worst for the brain?

Geraldine Zamansky: I agree. These Australian scientists are warning us after passing the same tests twice on perfectly healthy volunteers. These tests are used to assess brain performance. For example, to find out whether he is actually suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

And during one of the two rounds of testing, subjects had to wear strange glasses. Glasses that mimic the vision loss caused by a disease, AMD. Age-related macular degeneration damages the area of ​​the retina that allows us to see clearly. Its effects can be far more insidious than the classic need for glasses to see clearly in your forties.

With AMD, the images are sometimes slightly blurred, more light is needed in the middle. It’s slow and the elderly don’t necessarily manage to realize what’s happening to them to seek help.

And with the AMD glasses, the subjects did not pass the tests as well?

In one of the tests, it was necessary to react very quickly to the appearance of a point of light. Results: very low values ​​when wearing AMD glasses. And yet with a perfectly healthy brain. It is impressive. The Australian authors of this study therefore warn the professionals concerned.

Patients’ eyes should be tested before their brains are tested. Because of the insidious symptoms of AMD, diagnosis is sometimes late. And since sufferers also have trouble recognizing a face because the image is too blurry, they “remain” with the failed tests, their memory is blamed, and they’re told they have some sort of pre-Alzheimer’s when it’s their vision letting her go ! A nightmare.

So it is sometimes necessary to consult an ophthalmologist before having your memory checked?

Of course, that still depends on the context. What is certain, however, is that you should have your eyes checked regularly after 50 years. Because they too are threatened by glaucoma or the most famous cataract. Diagnosis and treatment can then protect vision. And not only. A study showed that people who had cataract surgery had a lower risk of developing dementia than those who were left with their deteriorating vision.

In short, good vision allows you to be more active and therefore better stimulate your brain! Unfortunately, finding an eye doctor appointment can sometimes be difficult, but we understand it’s worth it!

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