Vision and cognition in Alzheimer's disease

Matthew Rizzo, Steven W. Anderson, Jeffrey Dawson, Mark Nawrot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

199 Scopus citations


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is known to affect visual pathways, but potential concomitant effects on vision and cognitive performance are not well understood. We studied 43 individuals with AD of mild severity and 22 individuals without dementia on a battery of tests designed to measure multiple aspects of basic and higher-order visual perception and cognition. All subjects performed on the same visual and cognitive test batteries. The results showed no differences between groups on tests of static visual acuity, stereoacuity, dynamic visual acuity or motion direction discrimination. However, individuals with AD performed significantly worse on tests of static spatial contrast sensitivity, visual attention, shape-from-motion, color, visuospatial construction and visual memory. Correlation analyses showed strong relationships between visual and cognitive scores. The findings show that AD affects several aspects of vision and are compatible with the hypothesis that visual dysfunction in AD may contribute to performance decrements in other cognitive domains. The pattern of involvement indicates that AD affects multiple visual neural pathways and regions. It is possible that better understanding of vision-related dysfunction could aid diagnosis and interventions to improve functional capacity in patients with dementia. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1169
Number of pages13
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Visual cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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