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Alzheimer's patients benefit from cataract surgery

The findings from a recent study conducted by the National Institute on Aging showed that Alzheimer's patients who undergo cataract surgery have a decrease in dementia and an improvement in their quality of life. Alzheimer's patients are frequently denied cataract surgery because it is erroneously assumed that patients won't be able to experience improvement. Taking place over a period of five years, the study involved 28 Alzheimer's patients who had cataract surgery and 14 who did not. Not only did vision improve but the cognitive abilities of the group who had the surgery were either maintained or improved upon. In addition, the caregivers for these patients became less stressed because the patient they were caring for became more mobile and less dependent on them for such things as eating and getting dressed. Researchers believe that the preliminary results of this study demonstrate that all aspects of an Alzheimer's patient's health be assessed and that cataracts and their removal should be considered. An Alzheimer's patient suffering from a reduced visual field may become more withdrawn from fear of falling or running into things.*

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