Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia worldwide. It compromises patients’ daily activities owing to progressive cognitive deterioration, which has elevated direct and indirect costs. Although AD has several risk factors, aging is considered the most important. Unfortunately, clinical diagnosis is usually performed at an advanced disease stage when dementia is established, making implementation of successful therapeutic interventions difficult. Current biomarkers tend to be expensive, insufficient, or invasive, raising the need for novel, improved tools aimed at early disease detection. AD is characterized by brain atrophy due to neuronal and synaptic loss, extracellular amyloid plaques composed of amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ), and neurofibrillary tangles of hyperphosphorylated Tau protein. The visual system and central nervous system share many functional components. Thus, it is plausible that damage induced by Aβ, Tau, and neuroinflammation may be observed in visual components such as the retina, even at an early disease stage. This underscores the importance of implementing ophthalmological examinations, less invasive and expensive than other biomarkers, as useful measures to assess disease progression and severity in individuals with or at risk of AD. Here, we review functional and morphological changes of the retina and visual pathway in AD from pathophysiological and clinical perspectives.
|Effective start/end date||1/11/18 → 12/31/18|
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