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Can the retina be used to diagnose and plot the progression of Alzheimer's disease?

Mahajan, Deepti and Votruba, Marcela ORCID: 2017. Can the retina be used to diagnose and plot the progression of Alzheimer's disease? Acta Ophthalmologica 95 (8) , pp. 768-777. 10.1111/aos.13472

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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease and the most common cause of senile dementia. It impairs the quality of life of a person and their family, posing a serious economic and social threat in developed countries. The fact that the diagnosis can only be definitively made post-mortem, or when the disease is fairly advanced, presents a serious problem if novel therapeutic interventions are to be devised and used early in the course of the disease. There is therefore a pressing need for more sensitive and specific diagnostic tests with which we can detect AD in the preclinical stage. The tau proteins and beta-amyloid proteins start to accumulate 20 years before the symptoms begin to manifest. Detecting them in the preclinical stage would be a potential breakthrough in the management of AD. A high degree of clinical suspicion is needed to correlate problems in cognition with the changes in the eye, particularly the retina, pupil and ocular movements, so that the disease can be detected early and managed in the prodromal phase. In this systematic review, we ask the question whether the retina can be used to make a specific and early diagnosis of AD.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1755-375X
Funders: European Vision & Eye Research Foundation Fellowship
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 January 2018
Date of Acceptance: 3 April 2017
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 05:10

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