Retinal microvasculature can offer clues on Alzheimer’s

May 8, 2019 0 By FM

Stephen P. Yoon et al brings forth evidence suggesting that analysing changes in retinal microvasculature may help in detecting cerebrovascular changes related to Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers enrolled and studied the retinas of over 200 individuals to see if there were any significant differences between those with Alzheimer’s and those without. The participants involved 39 AD patients, 37 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 133 control subjects. Researchers used a non-invasive technology called optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) to measure the blood flow in each of the layers of the retina. The results showed that people who had a healthy brain function had a dense microscopic network of blood vessels in the retina, which could be observed through an eye examination. This web-like network of vessels was much less pronounced in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s patients also a showed significant decrease in ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer thickness when compared with that of MCI and controls. The research would help in detecting AD much earlier before symptoms of memory loss are evident.

Source: Ophthalmology Retina DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oret.2019.02.002 https://www.ophthalmologyretina.org/article/S2468-6530(18)30669-9/fulltext