Slow visual processing foreshadows dementia
Credit: serbiandude

Slow visual processing foreshadows dementia

June 17, 2024 Staff reporters

UK sports scientists found individuals with low visual sensitivity test (VST) scores had up to a 56% higher risk of developing dementia. 


Researchers from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University teamed with the Department of Public Health at the University of Cambridge to analyse the data of 8,623 individuals in the EPIC-Norfolk Prospective Population Cohort Study. Subjects took the VST, which involves them pressing a button after detecting a triangle emerging from a field of moving dots. Those who later developed dementia took significantly longer to spot the triangle compared to those who remained cognitively intact, reported the research team in Nature’s open access journal Scientific Reports. 


Thought to be caused by the toxic amyloid plaques linked to Alzheimer's disease affecting the brain’s visual-processing areas, these visual effects could serve as indicators of cognitive decline as much as 12 years before clinical diagnosis, they said.