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Can Your Eyes Effect Brain Health?



It comes as no surprise that there is a strong connection between the brain and the eyes. In fact, the retina of the eye originates from the same embryonic tissue as the brain, allowing the retina to be referred to as part of the brain. Even more so, half of the brain’s neural pathways are used for vision, therefore, with such rigid connection between the brain and eyes, researchers have found numerous ways in which eye health and brain health interlink.


A notable piece of research to mention would be the discovery that poor eyesight can cause cognitive decline.  In an eight year study of 2,520 people over 65, it was found that those who had the largest decline in eyesight also saw the biggest decline in cognitive function. It is thought that due to decreasing visibility, people are less able to take part in activities that stimulate the brain. This crucial information can allow scientists to better understand the impact our eyes have on brain health, and may help in future research to prevent cognitive decline.


Perhaps even more useful, due to the connection between the brain and the eyes, eye health can be used to diagnose a number of neural conditions. Latest research suggests the possibility to detect schizophrenia through the eyes. Up until recently, schizophrenia was thought to only be a mental issue, often associated with insanity or bad parenting. But modern medicine and clinical developments have revealed that there can also be biological signs of the condition.

As it turns out, certain traits of the eye like the thickness of the retina, or the retina’s response to light, can indicate a risk or presence of schizophrenia.

This is a huge development in schizophrenia since diagnosis of the condition remains an obstacle for doctors, but this latest development may allow for early detection.


On the subject of detection, eye health can also assist in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Studies by the American Academy of Ophthalmology suggest that certain eye tests can be used to quickly and effectively diagnose Alzheimers. To do so, researchers examine the veins in the back of the eye and the optic nerve, which connects the eyes to the brain. An imaging tool, called the optical coherence tomography angiography, allows researchers to see these veins. The research highlights that these veins become altered in some way in those with Alzheimers. Whilst this is not a cure for Alzheimer’s, this process can hugely increase the speed and effectiveness of diagnoses. And, as is the case for many neural conditions, early detection is crucial. The findings also shine more light on how eye health may be linked to memory health, and will aid future research in the field.


Clearly, our eyes have a huge role in brain health. New research in the field provides more insights, not only into the detection, but also the causation of certain neural conditions, all of which allow scientists to enhance research in brain health. Apart from eye health, there are many other ways to look after your brain health. Eating the right food, exercising, and brain games are all easy ways to improve your brain health. This is where MindMate can help you. The MindMate app combines all these aspects to create the ultimate tool to care for your brain health. Download the MindMate app to access stimulating brain games, healthy recipes, and fun workouts.

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