Scientists have discovered that venules, the blood vessels inside of the retina (located in the back of the eye), can provide a strong gauge as to the health of one’s brain. More specifically, the size and width of the venules can indicate whether or not you might expect to notice any signs of dementia in the future.
According to the study, people with wider retinal venules showed substantially more evidence of cognitive issues in areas such as verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, memory, and overall brain function. The results even show a long-term connection, as people who had wider venules at age 38 also had a lower IQ in childhood.
These findings may ultimately help to determine issues with brain health years before the onset of dementia. They may even help lead to a treatment for Alzheimer’s down the road. The study showed that changes among the blood vessels that provide oxygen to the brain, which result in decreased cognitive function, apparently begin much earlier than doctors and scientists had previously assumed.
So don’t skip that next eye doctor appointment. You may just learn something helpful.