Association Between Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness and Incident Dementia in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer in Norfolk Cohort.
Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD 2023
DOI : 10.3233/JAD-230073
PubMed ID : 37574729
Retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness may reflect cerebral status.
This study assessed the relationship between RNFL thickness and incident all-cause dementia in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer in Norfolk (EPIC-Norfolk) Eye Study.
Glaucoma detection with variable corneal compensation (GDx-VCC) and Heidelberg Retinal Tomograph II (HRT II) derived global mean RNFL thickness from dementia-free participants at baseline within the EPIC-Norfolk Eye Study were analyzed. Incident dementia was identified through linkage to electronic medical records. Cox proportional hazard mixed-effects regression models adjusted for key confounders were used to examine the associations between RNFL thickness and incident dementia in four separate models.
6,239 participants were included with 322 cases of incident dementia and mean age of 67.5-years old, with 49.7% women (median follow-up 13.2-years, interquartile range (11.7 to 14.6 years). Greater RNFL thickness (GDx-VCC) was not significantly associated with a lower risk of incident dementia in the full adjusted model [HR per quartile increase 0.95; 95% CI 0.82-1.10]. Similarly, RNFL thickness assessed with HRT II was also not associated with incident dementia in any model (full adjusted model; HR per quartile increase: 1.06; [95% CI 0.93-1.19]. Gender did not modify any associations under study.
GDx-VCC and HRT II derived RNFL thickness are unlikely to be useful predictors of incident dementia. Higher resolution optical imaging technologies may clarify whether there are useful relationships between neuro-retinal morphology and brain measures.