Current opinion neurology: visual pathway biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease


Purpose of review

The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is increasing. Premortem diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is now possible but require invasive and expensive testing such as PET amyloid beta binding and/or spinal fluid amyloid beta levels. There is a great need for minimally invasive and inexpensive biomarkers to allow for early diagnosis and intervention.

Recent findings

There has been a large volume of literature assessing ocular biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. Much of the research to date has significant limitations, including sample size, variable diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer’s disease, lack of biomarker assessment, and focus on patients with well established dementia. Work that is more recent has included individuals with early and preclinical Alzheimer’s disease with biomarkers included in the design. These studies have shown consistent features of visual pathway involvement in Alzheimer’s disease, even in the earliest and preclinical stages.


It is possible that in the future, ocular biomarkers (particularly retinal imaging techniques) may be part of a multimodality alogorithm screening for preclinical Alzheimer’s disease, perhaps combined with other methods, such as blood-based biomarkers.

NEURO-OPHTHALMOLOGY: Edited by Heather E. Moss
Current opinion neurology: visual pathway biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease

Van Stavern, Gregory P.Author Information
Current Opinion in Neurology: February 2020 – Volume 33 – Issue 1 – p 79-86
doi: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000788