September 10, 2018
1 min read

Retinal alterations noted in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease

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Rajendra S. Apte

Subjects with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease had a larger foveal avascular zone and decreased inner foveal thickness compared with subjects without preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.

The case-controlled study included 58 eyes from 30 participants who underwent positron emission tomography and/or cerebral spinal fluid testing to determine biomarker status. Measurements such as retinal nerve fiber layer thickness, inner and outer foveal thickness, and foveal avascular zone were taken with OCT angiography (OCTA).

Researchers evaluated the OCTA measurements to determine if early retinal alterations could be detected in subjects with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.

“This is a pilot study which suggests that changes in the retinal vasculature and retinal thickness can be detected very early in disease prior to any evidence of cognitive decline. Prospective studies with larger cohorts will be useful to corroborate our findings and also to determine if there is progression in the abnormalities in the foveal avascular zone identified in the current cohort and if there is any association of the retinal vasculature with onset or progression of dementia,” study co-author Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD, told

Participants with preclinical biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease had a mean foveal avascular zone of 0.364 mm² compared with a mean 0.275 mm² for those with biomarker negative findings (P = .002).

In addition, mean inner foveal thickness was lower in the subjects with biomarkers, 66 µm, compared with subjects without biomarkers, 75.4 µm. (P = .03). – by Robert Linnehan

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.