CogniFit's Science blog: Your Eyes Can Be A Marker For Brain Health

Your Eyes Can Be A Marker For Brain Health

A new study has shown some link between retina damage and brain health. The study looked at 511 women with a average age of 69 over a 10 year period. In year 4 their eyes were checked and in year 8 brain scans were done. The 39 women who had retina damage had lower scores on their cognitive tests.

Having this information gives healthcare providers one more tool to look at as a marker for brain health issues. Even though the women with eye damage seemed to show slower cognitive skills there was not enough eye damage to cause significant damage. The brains of women with eye damage also had more areas of damaged blood vessels in the brain that those without.

The study did account for people with high blood pressure and diabetes which can be factors in brain and eye issues. Even after taking this into account the findings held true. The study appeared in the March 14th online issue of Neurology. The cause and effect relationship has still yet to be proved.

The final study claims that problems with tiny blood vessels in the eye may be signs of problems with blood vessels in the brain which can lead to cognitive problems and decreased brain health. This information could lead to a very simple eye screening that can give an early indication to the brain health of the person.

This is not the first marker of brain health that scientists have discovered. Another marker that is used by doctors to check brain health is doing an fMRI to check for structural damage of the medial temporal lobe. The more of these markers that are discovered the more people stand to be diagnosed early.

Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other brain health diseases is extremely important. Alzheimer’s has no cure so the earlier you can catch it and start receiving treatment then you can lessen the decline of your brain health over time. The more of these markers that are discovered over time the better chance doctors have to discover brain health issues early and start to treat them before so much damage is done.

Our brain health is one of the most important things in our life. It makes sure our body functions like it should and that we can get through day to day activities with ease. It makes critical thinking more complex and helps us remember stuff. The more ways we can find to help diagnosis brain health disorders early the more people can get help before it is too late.