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Republished review: Cataract and cognitive impairment: a review of the literature

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jo Jefferis, Dr Urs Mosimann, Michael Clarke


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Acquired cataract and cognitive impairment are both common age-related problems, and ophthalmologists are increasingly likely to encounter patients who have both. Patients with dementia types who display early visuoperceptual impairment may present first to ophthalmology services. When these patients have coexisting cataract, it may be difficult to distinguish visual complaints due to cataract from those due to dementia. The interaction between visual impairment due to cataract and neurodegenerative disorders affecting the central visual pathways, is not fully understood. Visual impairment due to cataract may stress impaired attentional mechanisms and cataract extraction may improve cognitive performance in some patients with early cognitive impairment; however, the benefits of cataract surgery in established dementia are less clear. In this study, the literature on this subject was reviewed and the implications for practice were considered.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jefferis JM, Mosimann UP, Clarke MP

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Postgraduate Medical Journal

Year: 2011

Volume: 87

Issue: 1031

Pages: 636-642

ISSN (print): 0032-5473

ISSN (electronic):



DOI: 10.1136/pgmj.2009.165902rep