Retinal microvascular dysfunction occurs similarly in Alzheimer's disease and primary open angle glaucoma patients

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Purpose: The exact nature of the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is still the subject of debate. One factor attributed to the aetiology of both conditions is vascular dysfunction. This study aimed to investigate the similarities and differences in retinal microvascular function between mild AD patients, early stage POAG patients and healthy controls

Methods: Retinal vessel reactivity to flickering light was assessed in 10 AD, 19 POAG and 22 healthy age matched control patients by means of dynamic retinal vessel analysis (DVA, IMEDOS, GmbH, Jena, Germany) according to an established protocol. All patients additionally underwent BP measurements and blood analysis for glucose and lipid metabolism markers

Results: AD and POAG patients demonstrated comparable alterations in retinal artery reactivity, in the form of an increased arterial reaction time (RT) to flicker light on the final flicker cycle (p=0.014), which was not replicated in the healthy age and cardiovascular risk matched controls (p>0.05). Furthermore, the sequential changes in RT on progressing from flicker one to flicker three were found to differ between healthy controls and the two disease groups (p=0.001)

Conclusions: AD and POAG patients demonstrate comparable signs of vascular dysfunction in their retinal arteries at the early stages of their disease process. These comparable signs may reflect similarities in the pathophysiological processes that occur in the development of both conditions


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2763
Number of pages1
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2015
EventARVO 2015 Annual Meeting : Powerful Connections: Vision Research and Online Networking - Colorado Convention Center (CCC), Denver, CO, United States
Duration: 2 May 20157 May 2015

Bibliographic note

ARVO 2015 Annual Meeting : Powerful Connections: Vision Research and Online Networking, 2-7 May 2015, Denver, CO, United States.

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