When a patient presents with AMD, cognitive issues may not be far off. According to newly published research, significant associations exist between subjective cognitive complaints and AMD.

The investigators looked at a total of 5,604 patient records from the 2005–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They divided the patients’ retinal photos into three groups: no AMD, early AMD and late AMD. Then, they factored in the patients’ self-reported difficulties with memory or confusion. Sample weights were used to generate nationally representative data.

They found that those with any AMD at all had higher prevalence of subjective cognitive complains than those without AMD. Similarly, patients in the early and late AMD groups were associated with elevated odds of reporting memory dysfunctions.

The researchers concluded that doctors should pay more attention to the “subjective memory function and potential risk of cognitive decline among patients with AMD.”

Zhu Z, Lioa H, Scheetz J, Zhang J, He M. Association between age-related macular degeneration and subjective cognitive complaints. Br J Ophthalmol. December 4, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].