Retinal imaging in Alzheimers disease

Identifying biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) will accelerate the understanding of its pathophysiology, facilitate screening and risk stratification, and aid in developing new therapies. Developments in non-invasive retinal imaging technologies, including optical coherence tomography (OCT), OCT angiography and digital retinal photography, have provided a means to study neuronal and vascular structures in the retina in people with AD. Both qualitative and quantitative measurements from these retinal imaging technologies (eg, thinning of peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer, inner retinal layer, and choroidal layer, reduced capillary density, abnormal vasodilatory response) have been shown to be associated with cognitive function impairment and risk of AD. The development of computer algorithms for respective retinal imaging methods has further enhanced the potential of retinal imaging as a viable tool for rapid, early detection and screening of AD. In this review, we present an update of current retinal imaging techniques and their potential applications in AD research. We also discuss the newer retinal imaging techniques and future directions in this expanding field.

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