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The correlation between cognitive performance and retinal nerve fibre layer thickness is largely explained by genetic factors

Jones-Odeh, E; Yonova-Doing, E; Bloch, E; Williams, KM; Steves, CJ; Hammond, CJ; (2016) The correlation between cognitive performance and retinal nerve fibre layer thickness is largely explained by genetic factors. Scientific Reports , 6 , Article 34116. 10.1038/srep34116. Green open access

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Abstract

Retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness has been associated with cognitive function but it is unclear whether RNFL thinning is secondary to cortical loss, or if the same disease process affects both. We explored whether there is phenotypic sharing between RNFL thickness and cognitive traits, and whether such sharing is due to genetic factors. Detailed eye and cognitive examination were performed on 1602 twins (mean age: 56.4 years; range: 18-89) from the TwinsUK cohort. Associations between RNFL thickness and ophthalmic, cognitive and other predictors were assessed using linear regression or analysis of variance models. Heritability analyses were performed using uni- and bivariate Cholesky decomposition models. RNFL was thinner with increase in myopia and with decrease in disc area (p < 0.001). A thicker RNFL was associated with better performance on mini mental state examination (MMSE, F(5,883) = 5.8, p < 0.001), and with faster reaction time (RT, β = '0.01; p = 0.01); independent of the effects of age, refractive error and disc area (p < 0.05). RNFL thickness was highly heritable (82%) but there was low phenotypic sharing between RNFL thickness and MMSE (5%, 95% CI: 0-10%) or RT (7%, 95% CI: 1-12%). This sharing, however, was mostly due to additive genetic effects (67% and 92% of the shared variance respectively)

Type: Article
Title: The correlation between cognitive performance and retinal nerve fibre layer thickness is largely explained by genetic factors
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep34116
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1038/srep34116
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2016. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10026114
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