Damage to the retina and optic nerve

25 de November de 2019

The Neurophthalmology Unit of the Liencres-HUMV Hospital has studied the involvement of retinal structures (ganglion cells) and optic nerve (nerve fiber layer) in patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's Disease (AD) using coherence tomography optical (OCT).

In this study, published in the journal 'Alzheimers Dement (N Y)' the authors analyze the use of the thickness measurement of these structures in order to define a diagnostic screening test for AD.

This work is part of the Doctoral Thesis of the Ophthalmologist Alicia López de Eguileta directed by Doctors Pascual Sánchez Juan (Neurologist) and Alfonso Casado Rojo (Ophthalmologist) and the Cognitive Deterioration Unit of the Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital Service and the Nuclear Medicine Service (HUMV) and the Ophthalmology Service of the Liencres Hospital.

We demonstrate with this work that patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment, before showing clinical dementia, have a thinning in the thickness of the ganglion cells and nerve fiber layer. In this way, we suggest that there is damage to the retina and optic nerve prior to the development of dementia in AD. Therefore, we are facing a possible marker of early diagnosis in this disease.

There is previous literature that demonstrated changes in the retina and optic nerve in patients with established AD. However, this article is a pioneer in the study of these tissues in vivo in patients with an early stage of the disease categorized with PET and Pittsburgh compound B as a radiotracer.

Within the thesis of Dr. López de Eguileta we have results pending publication of other possible biomarkers and we continue to expand the sample to verify the reliability of the results obtained, thanks to the healthy volunteers of the Valdecilla Cohort for the study of Memory and the Brain Aging recruited by the Cognitive Deterioration Unit of the Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital Service.

Ref. Ganglion cell layer thinning in prodromal Alzheimer's disease defined by amyloid PET. López-de-Eguileta A, Lage C, López-García S, Pozueta A, García-Martínez M, Kazimierczak M, Bravo M, de Arcocha-Torres M, Banzo I, Jimenez-Bonilla J, Cerveró A, Rodríguez-Rodríguez E, Sánchez-Juan P, Casado A. Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2019 Oct 9;5:570-578. doi: 10.1016/j.trci.2019.08.008. eCollection 2019. PMID: 31650013


Dr. López de Eguileta Dr. Pascual Sánchez Juan