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D. A. Valenti; Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosis and Management: Ocular Biomarkers. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):4225.
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This project evaluates participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and moderate Alzheimer’s disease and age matched control participants to determine the impact of the AD process itself on the visual system and the impact of subsequent pharmaceutical treatments for AD on the visual system. The first line of treatments for AD are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChE inhibitors) such as donepezil (Aricept), Rivastigmine (Exelon) and galantamine (Razadyne) and AChE inhibitors have been shown to lower intraocular pressure (IOP). Memantine (Namenda) is in common use for AD as a neuroprotective agent and memantine has been shown to slow the progression of cell loss in the visual system in studies related to glaucoma.
Participants receive a comprehensive eye examination including, but not limited to; applanation tonometry, anterior segment evaluation using Pentacam and retinal nerve fiber analysis using Stratus Optical Coherence Tomography.
The initial comprehensive evaluation demonstrates statistically significant reductions in nerve fiber layer thicknesses in those with AD compared to controls which does not change at the follow up visit a short time later. The findings of reduced IOP and anterior structure changes with pharmaceutical intervention in the AD group with treatment are not significant with the limited number of participants.
AD impacts the visual system and this can be identified with imaging such as Optical Coherence Tomography. Imaging of anterior segment structures of those with AD may prove to be beneficial also. Treatments for AD impact the visual system and this warrants further study.
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