A study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington reveals that people who undergo cataract surgery are 30% less likely to get dementia.
Researchers came to this conclusion after evaluating more than 3,000 patients over the age of 65. Patients were tracked for a decade and none of the subjects had dementia at the start of the study.
The study did not ascertain how cataract surgery reduces the dementia risk but researchers think it might be due to cataracts blocking key cells within the eyes from receiving "blue light". It is thought that blue light reactivates retinal cells that are linked with cognition and regulate sleep.
Study participants were followed for an average of eight years and over the course of that time, 853 cases of dementia were diagnosed. Researchers found that those who underwent cataract surgery were 29 percent less likely to be diagnosed with dementia when compared to those who did not have surgery even when accounting for other health and demographic factors.
Further studies will be needed to determine how cataract surgery reduces the risk of developing dementia.