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Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2019 Jun 6;11:405-414. doi: 10.1016/j.dadm.2019.04.003. eCollection 2019 Dec.

Perifovea retinal thickness as an ophthalmic biomarker for mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Department of Neurology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
National Clinical Research Center for Aging and Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.



The aim of this study was to investigate retinal thickness as a biomarker for identifying patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD).


The retinal thickness, utilizing the spectral domain optical coherence tomography, was compared among 73 patients with AD, 51 patients with MCI, 67 cognitive normal control (NC) subjects.


The retinal thickness of ganglion cell complex and peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer decreased in both AD and MCI patients, in comparison with NC subjects (AD vs. NC, P < .01; MCI vs. NC, P < .01). The inner retinal layers in macular area in MCI exhibited significant thinning compared with NC (P < .001). Remarkable association was found between the retinal thickness and brain volume (P < .05). Better correlation was seen between the inner perifovea retinal thickness and the hippocampal and entorhinal cortex volume (r: 0.427-0.644, P < .01).


The retinal thickness, especially the inner retinal layer thickness, is a potentially early AD marker indicating neurodegeneration.


Alzheimer's disease; Biomarker; Brain atrophy; Mild cognitive impairment; Retinal thickness

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