Retinal plaques in Alzheimer’s disease

The aim of a study was to evaluate the existence of pathologic retinal deposits in patients with possible Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers have examined 20 patients with mild cognitive impairment, 10 of whom had family history of Alzheimer’s disease. Also, 10 patients with no complaints were examined.
The age range was between 45 and 86.

Researchers have performed fundus autofluorescence ( FAF ) test and optical scanning tomography ( OCT ) test on all of them. The retinal regions with hypofluorescent and hyperfluorescent images were taken into consideration and OCT was also performed through these lesions to detect the layer of the abnormality.
Patients with diabetic retinopathy and vascular occlusions were excluded.

In 16 patients with mild cognitive defects researchers were able to find abnormal accumulations in the ganglion layer and nerve fiber layer. Some of the accumulations were hypofluorescent and others were hyperfluorescent on FAF.

In the other group of patients who had no complaints , only drusen on the pigment epithelium layer could be seen.

In conclusion, researchers believe that abnormal retinal deposits ( possibly containing beta amyloid protein ) can be observed in the ganglion and retinal fiber layers in patients who have high risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Retinal examination can be very helpful in the evaluation of these patients. ( Xagena )

Kayabasi UA, Sergott RC, European Neurological Society ( ENS ) Congress, 2014


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