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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2012, Article ID 786494, 13 pages
Review Article

Ocular Manifestations of Alzheimer’s Disease in Animal Models

1Glaucoma & Retinal Neurodegeneration Research Group, Visual Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London EC1V 9EL, UK
2Sutton Eye Unit, Epsom and St. Helier NHS Trust, Cotswold Road, Sutton, Surry, London, UK
3St. Georges Healthcare NHS Trust, Blackshaw Road, Tooting, London, UK
4Western Eye Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare Trust, London, UK

Received 28 January 2012; Accepted 11 March 2012

Academic Editor: Ashley I. Bush

Copyright © 2012 Miles Parnell et al. 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.


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, and the pathological changes of senile plaques (SPs) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in AD brains are well described. Clinically, a diagnosis remains a postmortem one, hampering both accurate and early diagnosis as well as research into potential new treatments. Visual deficits have long been noted in AD patients, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that histopathological changes already noted in the brain also occur in an extension of the brain; the retina. Due to the optically transparent nature of the eye, it is possible to image the retina at a cellular level noninvasively and thus potentially allow an earlier diagnosis as well as a way of monitoring progression and treatment effects. Transgenic animal models expressing amyloid precursor protein (APP) presenilin (PS) and tau mutations have been used successfully to recapitulate the pathological findings of AD in the brain. This paper will cover the ocular abnormalities that have been detected in these transgenic AD animal models.