Decreased retinal thickness in patients with Alzheimer’s disease is correlated with disease severity

Autoři: Jae-Il Kim aff001;  Bong-Hui Kang aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Neurology, Dankook University College of Medicine, Dankook University Hospital, Cheonan, Korea aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224180


Background and purpose

The loss of retinal ganglion cells observed in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may be attributable to a neurodegeneration of the neuro-retinal structure. Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) has been considered a prodromal stage of AD. We evaluated retinal thicknesses in patients with aMCI and AD compared to healthy controls using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) to investigate whether changes in retinal thickness are correlated with the clinical severity of dementia.


Patients with aMCI (n = 14), mild to moderate AD (n = 7), severe AD (n = 9), and age-matched controls (n = 17) underwent neuro-ophthalmologic examinations. Global deterioration scale (GDS), clinical dementia rating (CDR), and mini-mental status examination (MMSE) were used to evaluate the clinical overall severity of dementia. The thicknesses of the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), total macula, and macular ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GC-IPL) were measured using Cirrus HD-OCT.


The severe AD group had overall significantly thinner GC-IPL, total macula, and peripapillary RNFL compared to the controls (p<0.05). In the mild to moderate AD group, the total macula, average RNFL, and superior RNFL thickness were each significantly reduced compared to controls (p<0.05). The aMCI group had reduced total macula, average RNFL, and inferior RNFL thickness, but there were no significant differences compared to the controls. The GDS and CDR scores had a negative correlation with the thickness of the GC-IPL and the total macula. The MMSE scores had a positive correlation with both the total macular and average RNFL thickness, when adjusted for age (p<0.05).


This study confirmed that retinal thickness is decreased in AD patients. There is a correlation between reduced retinal thickness and the clinical severity of dementia.

Klíčová slova:

Alzheimer's disease – Cognitive impairment – Dementia – Diagnostic medicine – Eyes – Retina – Tomography – Retinal ganglion cells


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Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11