Optical coherence tomography in alzheimer’s disease

Gianluca Coppola, Vincenzo Parisi, Gianluca Manni, Francesco Pierelli, Alfredo A. Sadun

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, which is likely to start as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) several years before its fullblown clinical manifestation. In the last two decades, optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been used to observe a signifi cant loss in peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and in macular thickness and volume in patients affected by a form of mild to severe dementia. These morphological abnormalities correlate to some extent with the severity of the disease as evaluated with neuropsychological tests. Furthermore, these structural measures correlate with electrophysiological parameters of pattern electroretinogram, refl ecting integrity of the innermost retinal layers, but not with those of the visual evoked potentials, refl ecting activity of the post-chiasmatic visual pathway. The latter evidence suggests that RNFL thickness reduction is related to neuronal degeneration in the ganglion cell layer and not to a retrograde degeneration from the post-chiasmatic visual pathway. These data suggest a possible role of OCT in monitoring the progression of AD and in assessing the effectiveness of purported AD treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOCT in Central Nervous System Diseases: The Eye as a Window to the Brain
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783319240855
ISBN (Print)9783319240831
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Electroretinogram
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Psychometric testing
  • Retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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