Retinal microvascular features and cognitive change in the Lothian-Birth Cohort 1936

Sarah McGrory, Lucia Ballerini, Judith A. Okely*, Stuart J. Ritchie, Fergus N. Doubal, Alex S.F. Doney, Baljean Dhillon, John M. Starr, Thomas J. MacGillivray, Emanuele Trucco, Joanna M. Wardlaw, Ian J. Deary

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
137 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: We test whether measures of the retinal vasculature are associated with cognitive functioning and cognitive change. Methods: Retinal images from a narrow-age cohort were analyzed using Vessel Assessment and Measurement Platform for Images of the Retina, producing a comprehensive range of quantitative measurements of the retinal vasculature, at mean age 72.5 years (SD = 0.7). Cognitive ability and change were measured using a battery of multiple measures of memory, visuospatial, processing speed, and crystallized cognitive abilities at mean ages 73, 76, and 79 years. We applied multivariate growth curve models to test the association between retinal vascular measurements with cognitive abilities and their changes. Results: Almost all associations were nonsignificant. In our most parsimonious model, venular asymmetry factor was associated with speed at age 73. Discussion: Our null findings suggest that the quantitative retinal parameters applied in this study are not significantly associated with cognitive functioning or cognitive change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-509
Number of pages10
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
Early online date10 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Cognitive change
  • Longitudinal study
  • Retinal imaging


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