Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Measurement in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease

Authors: Z. Kasl 1;  Š. Rusňák 1;  N. Jirásková 2;  P. Rozsíval 2;  M. Krčma 3;  J. Laczó 4;  M. Vyhnálek 4;  J. Hort 4
Authors‘ workplace: Oční klinika LF UK a FN Plzeň 1;  Oční klinika LF UK a FN Hradec Králové 2;  1. interní klinika LF UK a FN Plzeň 3;  Neurologická klinika 2. LF UK a FN v Motole, Praha 4
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2016; 79/112(4): 424-429
Category: Original Paper


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia syndrome and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Current diagnostic methods are expensive, challenging and burdening for patients. Therefore, alternative diagnostic methods suitable for early diagnosis are still being sought. Evaluation of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness, well accessible to examination through optical apparatus, could be one of the options.

The aim of our research was to evaluate RNFL thickness in several peri-papillary quadrants of the retina by patients with AD and MCI measured with the optical coherence tomography (OCT) and to match the results with a control cohort.

Patients and methods:
24 AD patients, precisely 48 measured eyes, and 10 MCI patients, precisely19 eyes, were included. The control cohort included 26 patients, precisely 51 eyes. All patients underwent detailed ophtalmological checkup and RNFL thickness in the area circular around the optic nerve head via OCT was measured.

We did not find any statistically significant difference of RNFL thickness between the studied and control cohort in any peri-papillary quadrant of the retina.

The procedure we selected and our results have confirmed the advantages of retinal examination as a practical, timely and patient non-burdening method. Our results also contribute to the discussion on the benefits of this procedure in AD diagnostics. Previous research provided inconsistent results and they differed in used procedures and characteristics of selected cohorts. There is a need for further studies to assess utility of OCT in AD diagnostics with respect to convenience of application of this method into clinical practice.

Key words:
Alzheimer disease – optical coherence tomography – retinal nerve fiber layer

The authors declare they have no potential conflicts of interest concerning drugs, products, or services used in the study.

The Editorial Board declares that the manuscript met the ICMJE “uniform requirements” for biomedical papers.


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