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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2010, Article ID 793931, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2010/793931
Review Article

Alzheimer's Disease and Glaucoma: Imaging the Biomarkers of Neurodegenerative Disease

Vision Care, 62 Forest Avenue Quincy, MA 02169, USA

Received 29 September 2010; Accepted 8 November 2010

Academic Editor: Adam S. Fleisher

Copyright © 2010 Denise A. Valenti. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Imaging through the visual system in Alzheimer's disease, with the technology currently in widespread use for the diagnosis and management of eye disease such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, is proving to be promising. In vivo cross-section imaging during an annual comprehensive eye exam has been available for a decade for glaucoma and macular degeneration, and this same imaging, using Optical Coherence Tomography, has been demonstrated to show deficits specific to AD and mild cognitive impairment. These deficits are in the form of nerve fiber layer tissue drop out in the retina and optic nerve. The retrograde loss of nerve fiber layer tissue in the retina and optic nerve may be an early biomarker of AD, and these deficits in the nerve fiber layer of the retina and optic nerve may be the earliest sign of AD, even prior to damage to the hippocampal region that impacts memory.