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JAB - Cataracts and AD
Internal Administrator
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:42 PM
Joined: 1/14/2015
Posts: 40463


Originally posted by: geegee

JAB, you brought up a very interesting point in a caregiver forum. I posted this question there but I think it really doesn't belong there because the caregiver discussion looks like it is just going on ...as it should.

Anyway, stated, "...AD patients are prone to cataracts." Does that mean patients are prone to cataracts because of the disease itself, or as a result of AD medications?

If cataracts can be a side effect AD, that might help explain why 3 yrs. prior to my AD diagnosis, age 60, I had cataract surgery. I thought the cataracts were premature.. but if there is a relationship to AD, it makes more sense to me. Any reference is appreciated. Thank you, again & always!
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:42 PM
Originally posted by: geegee

JAB? ttt Smiler
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:42 PM
Originally posted by: lorene

Geegee, when the intern stopped by Friday after

my eye doctor apt. we discussed the brain and

my eye problem. apparently she has studied and

taken classes researching and is intensley

interested in the brain and Alzheimers. she

showed me the back part of my head in a diagram

and whats called the "occipital" which is

connected to the eyes and told me to mention to

the tech when i get my pet scan about my eye

problems. if there shows damage it will confirm

the relationship to my eyes and that area of

the brain. of course that will only mean

possible worsening of my eyes, but at least i

will know what the reason is! its amazing how

this disease effects us in so many ways and

there are still so many things even the doctors

dont know. (i have cataracts, but there are

still small so i just have checkups regularly

to keep an eye on them. HUGS and a sunny day to

you!!! Smiler
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:42 PM
Originally posted by: geegee

Lorene, Yes it is all fascinating. I am hoping to hear

from some clarifications to my questions. In

the mean time I am interested to hear if they

have been able to help your vision focusing

problems. Have a Cool day.
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:42 PM
Originally posted by: lorene

Geegee, if the focus problem is due to the occipital part of my brain being damaged, there

is no fix for the focus problem, as a matter of fact my eyes will just get worse. im trying to

wrap my head around this information and its not easy. i guess there are no easy answers

when it comes to this disease. all i can do is accept if indeed that part of my brain is

effected. the brain is both fascinating and scary!! Frowner
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:42 PM
Originally posted by: JAB

quote:
Does that mean patients are prone to cataracts because of the disease itself, or as a result of AD medications?

Yes. Big Grin

Sorry it took so long to get back to you -- I wanted to check out the latest information before responding. There have indeed been a number of new studies since I looked into cataracts.


Alzheimer's patients get it coming and going when it comes to cataracts.

As people age, the lenses of the eyes may become more and more opaque due to light scattering by abnormally large protein aggregates. When there are enough of these protein aggregates to interfere with vision (glare, blur, decreased contrast sensitivity) they are considered cataracts.

There are three major types of age-related cataracts, i.e., cortical, nuclear, and posterior subcapsular.

There is a fourth type of cataract, the supranuclear cataract, that is associated with, and apparently unique to, Alzheimer's pathology. These AD-linked supranuclear cataracts are phenotypically, anatomically, ultrastructurally, and biochemically distinguishable from common age-related nuclear cataracts.

One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's is the formation of protein aggregates in the brain, called plaque, which contain beta-amyloid (Abeta). It has been suggested that the same mechanisms underlying plaque formation in the brain may also be involved in the formation of supranuclear cataracts. Studies have indicated that Abeta aggregates are involved in their formation; and other AD-related proteins, such as amyloid precursor protein and presenilin, are also found in the cataractous lens. In addition, disruption of acetylcholinesterase signaling is also thought to increase the risk of supranuclear cataracts.

People with Down syndrome invariably develop early-onset AD, and it has been known for a long time that they also invariably develop early-onset cataracts. Very recent studies have shown the Down syndrome cataracts to be identical to the supranuclear cataracts found in late-onset Alzheimer's patients.

This unique type of cataract does not appear to be found in healthy individuals, or in people with other non-AD neurodegenerative disorders. It is therefore thought to be a good biomarker for Alzheimer's diagnosis.



Then, once a person has Alzheimer's ... cataracts are known to be frequent side effects of drugs such as Aricept and Exelon, which affect the acetylcholine signaling system.
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:42 PM
Originally posted by: geegee

JAB, thank you so much for that

explanation! I understand now how you

AD patients "get it coming

and going when it comes to cataracts." Eeker

Removed once (before diagnosis)... and cataracts are also now a known side effect

of a drug which is a hope for the disease.

Puzzle pieces all going together! That much is good to

see.

Thank you for your explanation for everyone. I will go eat my raw carrots now! Big Grin

Ignore the clouds and have a sunny day!
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:42 PM
Originally posted by: JAB

Sue, I don't think it's correct to say that "almost everyone starts developing cataracts after the age of 40." See, e.g.:
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/7198.php

However, it is true that surgery may not be needed, at least, for quite some time. My husband was told he needed cataract surgery in the mid-1990s. He was dead set against it. He had to have laser iridotomy for closed-angle glaucoma after he was diagnosed with AD. His surgeon, a simply wonderful ophthalmologist, said that some people adjust very well to cataracts and can see a lot better than one would expect from the way they look to the doctor. And there is no reason to have surgery early-on -- cataracts do not become more difficult to treat as they get worse. My husband could still read fine print, and so we waited, and waited, and waited some more ... until even the ophthalmologist said they'd gotten too bad and were seriously degrading his eyesight. He had the surgery in late 2010. (And the first thing he said after the first eye was done was the colors were so much brighter. Big Grin )
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:42 PM
Originally posted by: Suzie#1

Hi All

Someone had told me that almost everyone starts developing cataracts after the age of 40. Sometimes we don't need surgery to correct it.

Sue
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:42 PM
Originally posted by: Lisa 428

Hi JAB,

I was told about 3 years ago that I had cataracts. They do affect my vision but they are not bad enough to fix.

It's all very interesting.

Thanks.
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:42 PM
Originally posted by: Mattie

This is ironic. I am an early onset AD patient at 47 and 2 weeks ago I had cataract surgery.
 
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