Cataract Surgery Benefits More Than Eyes

When an elderly loved one is dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s easy to overlook a medical problem as minor as cataracts. But according to new research reported in ScienceDaily, having improved vision through cataract surgery is linked to improvement in cognitive ability, mood, sleep patterns, and other behaviors in people with mild Alzheimer’s disease.

A neuropsychologist measured mood, depression, behavior, and cognitive abilities one month before cataract surgery, and then again three months after. The results were impressive: Cognitive status–the ability to perceive, understand, and respond appropriately to one’s surroundings–improved in 25% of patients. Depression was also relieved in many patients, and sleep patterns improved. Perhaps best of all, night time behavior problems—the agitation and aggression common among Alzheimer’s patients, a pattern known as “sundowning”—decreased in most patients.

What’s also impressive is that these results were found in patients who had ad average age of 85…that means that these benefits were found even among people who might otherwise be considered “too old” for surgery. What this study suggests is that you are never too old to benefit from cataract surgery…and Alzheimer’s disease should not be considered a barrier.

To read the full article in ScienceDaily, click here:  Mood, Cognition and Sleep Patterns Improve

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