Face memory deficits in subjects with eye diseases: a comparative analysis between glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration patients from a developing country

  • Livia S. Mazzoli
  • Carla N. Urata
  • Niro KasaharaEmail author



Older people present significant declines in face recognition with age. Spatial vision (high-contrast acuity) and age are the best predictors of face recognition. Visual disabilities are more common in the older population due to aging eye diseases. The purpose of the study was to compare the face recognition memory deficit between primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) and age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) patients living in a developing country.


This was a cross-sectional, observational study. The sample comprised 64 patients with POAG, 48 with ARMD, and 52 controls. All groups were matched for age, gender, comorbidity, and ethnic distribution. Evidence of cognitive impairment was ruled out and subjects with even mild cognitive impairment were not included in the study. After a complete eye examination including measurement of the best-corrected visual acuity, fundus evaluation, and automated visual field, all subjects underwent the Cambridge face memory test (CFMT). CFMT score in percentage (%) was the main outcome measure and data were compared with ANOVA.


The mean age was 66.6 ± 9.2, 69.8 ± 9.3, and 63.4 ± 7.3 years, for POAG, ARMD, and controls, respectively (P = 0.152). Gender, ethnicity, and comorbidity were evenly distributed among the groups. The CFMT score was 53.3 ± 15.2%, 49.8 ± 14.2%, and 62.1 ± 15.9% for POAG, ARMD, and controls, respectively (P < 0.001).


ARMD and POAG patients have higher face recognition memory deficit as compared to normal controls. This might be due to a visual disability.


Glaucoma Age-related macular degeneration Face perception 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Livia S. Mazzoli M.D. declares that she has no conflict of interest. Carla N. Urata, M.D. declares that she has no conflict of interest. Niro Kasahara, M.D. declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Irmandade da Santa Casa de Misericordia de Sao PauloSao PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Santa Casa de Sao Paulo School of Medical SciencesSao PauloBrazil

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