PURPOSE: To examine the relation of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) changes. DESIGN: Population-based, cross-sectional study. METHODS: A sample of 1,684 persons ages 51 to 72 years with no history of stroke had cerebral MRI and retinal photography. MRI scans were graded for severity of white matter lesions (WML), sulcal widening (SW), and ventricular enlargement (VE). AMD was graded from retinal photographs. RESULTS: After adjustment for age, gender, race, or center, early AMD (5.0% of participants) was not significantly associated with WML (odds ratio [OR] 1.0, 95% confidence intervals [CI], 0.6 to 1.6), SW (OR 0.6, 95% CI, 0.4 to 1.2), or VE (OR 1.0, 95% CI, 0.6 to 1.8). CONCLUSIONS: These data showed no statistically significant association of early AMD with cerebral MRI changes, but the study was limited by a small number of cases with wide CIs. Further studies may clarify these associations.