Can a person with dementia experience sight loss, even if they have not been diagnosed with a sight condition?

Yes, this is due to changes in the brain associated with dementia and its affects on visual processing.

Damage to the visual system can cause:

  • mis-perceptions - the person sees one thing as something else
  • mis-identifications - damage to specific parts of the brain can lead to problems identifying specific objects and people
  • Loss of depth perception
  • Reduced colour and contrast sensitivity
  • Reduced visual acuity
  • Shrinking peripheral vision
  • Being less able to detect movement
  • Double vision
  • Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is caused by damage to the brain cells at the back of the brain that make sense of what our eyes are seeing. It is also known as Benson's syndrome. Alzheimer’s disease is most often the cause of the brain cell damage in PCA, but it is sometimes caused by other diseases.

Further information on PCA can be found on the Alzheimers Research UK website.

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