Cataract Surgery Shown to Reduce Risk of Dementia

Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Washington have found strong evidence that cataract surgery can lower the risk of developing dementia for up to 10 years in senior adults. The news was reported in the December 6, 2021 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

The Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study of more than 5,000 senior adults showed for the first time that subjects who underwent cataract surgery had nearly a 30% lower risk of developing dementia than those who did not. The study also showed an association between cataract surgery and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The reason/s for these findings were not reported, but the most reasonable hypothesis is that improved vision quality and light input might benefit the brain—welcome news in light of recent reports showing that dementia from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is often associated with retinal degeneration. For more information about this, see Retinal Degeneration and Alzheimer’s Disease: An Evolving Link.

SOURCE: “Association Between Cataract Extraction and Development of Dementia” by Cecilia S. Lee, MD et al, 6 December 2021, JAMA Internal Medicine. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.699