(HealthDay News) – Individuals with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) do not have an elevated risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or dementia, according to a study published online Nov. 14 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

To assess the correlation between AMD and AD or dementia, Tiarnan D.L. Keenan, MRCOphth, from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues used data from the English National Health Service to construct cohorts of 65,894 people with AMD, 168,092 with dementia, and a reference cohort of more than 7.7 million people.

The researchers found that there was no elevated risk of AD (rate ratio [RR], 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.67–1.08) or dementia (RR, 0.91, 95% CI, 0.79–1.04) following AMD. Following AD or dementia, the likelihood of being admitted for AMD was very low (RR, 0.04 and 0.07 for those with AD and dementia, respectively).

“In conclusion, these data provide evidence that there is no positive association between AMD and dementia or AD,” the authors write. “However, people with dementia in England are substantially less likely to undergo treatment for AMD than those without dementia. Potential barriers to care for these vulnerable individuals need to be examined and addressed in the near future.”

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