Identification of Preclinical Alzheimer Disease

Aug 25, 2018
Study Explores Use of Eye Imaging for Identification of Preclinical Alzheimer Disease

Bottom Line: It is important to identify people with early-stage Alzheimer disease (AD) who could potentially benefit from treatment but current testing to do this is invasive and expensive. Optical coherence tomographic angiography (OCTA) is a noninvasive imaging technique of the eye that allows for analysis of certain changes of the retina that are altered in preclinical AD even prior to any symptoms. This study included 58 eyes from 30 cognitively normal adults (without any evidence of dementia) who underwent testing for biomarkers of preclinical AD and OCTA. Among the 30 people, 14 had biomarkers positive for AD and a diagnosis of preclinical AD; the other 16 people without biomarkers were used as a comparison group. While the study suggests certain changes in the retina were more likely among people with preclinical AD, larger studies are needed to determine the value of this finding in identifying early-stage AD.

Authors: Rajendra S. Apte, M.D., Ph.D., and Gregory P. Van Stavern, M.D., Washington University in St. Louis, and coauthors

Related material: The commentary, “Viewing Retinal Vasculature in Alzheimer Disease,” by Christine A. Curcio, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham, is also available on the For The Media website.

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.3556)