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Ophthalmology. 1996 Mar;103(3):495-503.

Pupillary response to tropicamide in patients with Alzheimer disease.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.



To determine whether pupillary responses to dilute tropicamide could be used as a diagnostic test for Alzheimer disease (AD). The authors also investigated whether concurrent use of an oral acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (tacrine) alters the pupillary response to dilute tropicamide in patients with AD, and whether pupillary responses to dilute tropicamide differ in young versus older control subjects.


Pupillary diameter and area of both eyes were measured in light and darkness, at 10-minute intervals for 40 minutes after random instillation of 0.01% tropicamide to one eye. Four groups of subjects were studied: 9 patients with AD, 10 who were treated with tacrine, 11 older control subjects, and 10 young control subjects.


Mean change in anisocoria was not significantly different among groups at any of the measurement time points. Mean percent change in diameter of the treated eyes showed a trend toward faster maximum dilatation in the AD groups, but change in pupillary measurements did not identify individuals with AD.


Pupillary response to dilute tropicamide did not effectively distinguish individual patients with AD from young or older control subjects.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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