What your patient might ask you…

Can you predict if I’ll get dementia?

Short answer according to a new study? Yes.

The details:
The study was published in JAMA Neurology and included over 1,200 patients from the UK Biobank study. They obtained OCT images of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and performed cognitive testing on these patients in 2009-2010 and then again 3 years later.

What were the main takeaways?
1. Individuals with thinner RNFL results at baseline tended to have worse overall baseline cognitive performance.
2. Those with a thinner RNFL were twice as likely to experience cognitive decline over 3 years.

Is this screening tool ready for prime time?
Not yet. The authors say it’s still too early. One reason is that a screening “implies that there is a treatment or lifestyle modification which can be prescribed or advised which manifestly benefits the condition,” and this is not the case with dementia. (via)

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