often in patients clinically diagnosed with AD, suggesting similar pathologies in both organs.
‘Neurodegeneration in the brain could be represented by protein deposits in the retina that provides insight on easier and quicker detection of Alzheimers disease.
The present study compared tests of retinal and brain amyloids in patients from the A4 study and another study (Longitudinal Evaluation of Amyloid Risk and Neurodegeneration) to assess the risk of neurodegeneration in persons with low levels of amyloid.
Retina – Window to Brain
It was found that the presence of retinal spots in the eyes correlated with brain scans showing higher levels of cerebral amyloid.
“This was a small initial dataset from the screening visit. It involved eight patients. But these findings are encouraging because they suggest it may be possible to determine the onset, spread, and morphology of AD a preclinical diagnosis using retinal imaging, rather than more difficult and costly brain scans. We look forward to seeing the results of additional timepoint retinal scans and the impact of solanezumab (a monoclonal antibody) on retinal imaging. Unfortunately, we will need to wait to see and analyze these data when the A4 trial is completed,” says senior author Robert Rissman, Ph.D., professor of neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Biomarker Core for the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study and Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at UC San Diego.
The study thereby suggests that non-invasive retinal imaging may serve as a biomarker for detecting early-stage AD risk.