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AAO: Myopia May Reduce Risk of Diabetic Retinopathy

Other research from AAO meeting explores vision impairment linked to Alzheimer's disease

TUESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- People with diabetes who are nearsighted are at reduced risk for developing diabetic retinopathy and vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy, according to research presented at the fourth annual joint meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology, held from Oct. 24 to 27 in San Francisco.

Laurence Shen Lim and colleagues at the Singapore National Eye Centre reported on 1,258 eyes in 629 subjects with diabetes that were examined to assess the association between eye refraction, biometry, and diabetic retinopathy. The researchers found that subjects with greater myopic refraction or longer axial lengths were less likely to have diabetic retinopathy (odds ratios, 0.90 and 0.86, respectively) and vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy (odds ratios, 0.77 and 0.63, respectively).

In another poster presentation, Pierre-Francois Kaeser, M.D., and Francois-Xavier Borruat, M.D., both of the Jules Gonin Eye Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, reported on 10 patients with vision complaints and a median visual acuity of 20/25 who were diagnosed with the visual variant of Alzheimer's disease. Among the findings for the patients were: partial homonymous visual field defects, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyschromatopsia, and simultagnosia. In neuroimaging, all 10 patients were found to have parietooccipital atrophy; and, of seven patients who underwent functional imaging, all had parietooccipital hypoperfusion. The Alzheimer's disease diagnosis was confirmed through neuropsychological tests.

"In patients with unexplained progressive visual complaints, the combination of homonymous field defects and higher cortical dysfunction is suggestive of visual variant of Alzheimer's disease," Kaeser and colleagues conclude.

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