It may first appear that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Alzheimer Disease (AD) are pathologically related. “The conditions may share environmental risk factors and histopathologic features”, say researchers from Oxford and Manchester Universities, but “considering AD and other dementia after AMD, their coexistence at the individual level is no different from that expected by chance.”
They reached that conclusion after looking at the records of 65,894 AMD patients from English National Health Service from January 1, 1999 through February 28, 2011. They found that the risk of AD or dementia following AMD was not elevated, and the likelihood of being admitted for AMD following AD or dementia was very low.
The data, however, also suggested that “patients in England with dementia may be substantially less likely to receive AMD treatment.” Further research is therefore required “to determine whether people with dementia receive appropriate investigation and treatment for AMD”.
Source: Tiarnan D. L. Keenan, MRCOphth; Raph Goldacre, BA; Michael J. Goldacre, FFPHM. Associations Between Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Alzheimer Disease, and Dementia Record Linkage Study of Hospital Admissions (JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online November 14, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.5696)