Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Nature Publishing Group

Faculty

Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science

School

School of Medical Sciences/Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care

RAS ID

16839

Comments

This article was originally published as: Frost, S., Kanagasingam, Y., Sohrabi, H. R., Vignarajan, J., Bourgeat, P., Salvado, O., Villemagne, V., Rowe, C., Macaulay, L., Szoeke, C., Ellis, K., Ames, D., Masters, C., Rainey-Smith, S. R., & Martins, R. N. (2013). Retinal vascular biomarkers for early detection and monitoring of Alzheimer's disease. Translational Psychiatry, 3, Article e233. Original article available here

Abstract

The earliest detectable change in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the buildup of amyloid plaque in the brain. Early detection of AD, prior to irreversible neurological damage, is important for the efficacy of current interventions as well as for the development of new treatments. Although PiB-PET imaging and CSF amyloid are the gold standards for early AD diagnosis, there are practical limitations for population screening. AD-related pathology occurs primarily in the brain, but some of the hallmarks of the disease have also been shown to occur in other tissues, including the retina, which is more accessible for imaging. Retinal vascular changes and degeneration have previously been reported in AD using optical coherence tomography and laser Doppler techniques. This report presents results from analysis of retinal photographs from AD and healthy control participants from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Flagship Study of Ageing. This is the first study to investigate retinal blood vessel changes with respect to amyloid plaque burden in the brain. We demonstrate relationships between retinal vascular parameters, neocortical brain amyloid plaque burden and AD. A number of RVPs were found to be different in AD. Two of these RVPs, venular branching asymmetry factor and arteriolar length-to-diameter ratio, were also higher in healthy individuals with high plaque burden (P=0.01 and P=0.02 respectively, after false discovery rate adjustment). Retinal photographic analysis shows potential as an adjunct for early detection of AD or monitoring of AD-progression or response to treatments.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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