Article Text

Unusual presentation of more common disease/injury
Dementia presenting with visual complaints
  1. Nikolaos Koutroumanos1,
  2. Michael P Clarke1,
  3. Urs Peter Mosimann1,2
  1. 1
    Wolfson Research Centre, Newcastle University, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE4 5PL, UK
  2. 2
    University Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Bern, Murtenstrasse 21, CH 3010 Bern, Switzerland
  1. urs.mosimann{at}


A 78-year-old female developed memory problems after a 2-year history of persistent visual complaints. Ocular pathology did not explain the extent of her perceived visual impairment. Cognitive screening tests found prominent visuo-constructive deficits and a comprehensive dementia assessment revealed the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. This case describes visual complaints as the initial symptom of dementia, pre-dating memory impairment by several years. We discuss clinical signs of cerebral visual impairment and suggest a simple screening measure.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Patient consent: Patient/guardian consent was obtained for publication.