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PLoS One. 2018 Feb 2;13(2):e0192154. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192154. eCollection 2018.

Impaired retinal microcirculation in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, United States of America.
2
Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, Department of Neurology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, United States of America.
3
Department of Ophthalmology, Third Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China.
4
Zhongshan Ophthalmic Centre, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
5
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, United States of America.

Abstract

The goal of this study was to determine the retinal blood flow rate (BFR) and blood flow velocity (BFV) of pre-capillary arterioles and post-capillary venules in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Forty patients (20 AD and 20 MCI) and 21 cognitively normal (CN) controls with a similar age range (± 5 yrs) were recruited. A retinal function imager (RFI) was used to measure BFRs and BFVs of arterioles and venules in the macular region. The thickness of the ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) was measured using Zeiss Cirrus optical coherence tomography. Macular BFRs in AD group were 2.64 ± 0.20 nl/s (mean ± standard deviation) in arterioles and 2.23 ± 0.19 nl/s in venules, which were significantly lower than in MCI and CN groups (P < 0.05). In addition, BFRs in MCI were lower than in CN in both arterioles and venules (P < 0.05). The BFV of the arterioles was 3.20 ± 1.07 mm/s in AD patients, which was significantly lower than in CN controls (3.91 ± 0.77 mm/s, P = 0.01). The thicknesses of GCIPL in patients with AD and MCI were significantly lower than in CN controls (P < 0.05). Neither BFV nor BFR in arterioles and venules was related to age, GCIPL thickness, mini mental state examination (MMSE) score and disease duration in patients with AD and MCI (P > 0.05). The lower BFR in both arterioles and venules in AD and MCI patients together with the loss of GCIPL were evident, indicating the impairment of the two components in the neurovascular-hemodynamic system, which may play a role in disease progression.

PMID:
29394263
PMCID:
PMC5796702
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0192154
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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