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Eyes on Alzheimer’s: the promise of the retina in research and healthcare

The retina is often considered an extension of the brain, as they share many functional and structural similarities. Retinal changes have been reported to correspond to brain and cognitive changes seen in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). These changes include pathologies associated with AD such as amyloid-beta (Aβ) deposition and neurofibrillary tangle build up. The retina has been cited as a way to assess AD, particularly in patients with early AD, in a simple and non-invasive manner. Work is currently being undertaken to detect retinal biomarkers of AD, to allow for earlier diagnosis and the introduction of interventions which are needed to manage the disease effectively.

There are several areas currently being investigated to assess how the retina can provide insights into AD. In today’s episode, we hear from top researchers studying the retina as a window to the Alzheimer’s brain. Hear the latest on retinal biomarkers, the development of a diagnostic ‘eye test’ for Alzheimer’s disease, and the promise of retina organoids for novel drug development. 

With Frederique Hart de Ruyter, MD, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, PhD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Mourad Tayebi, PhD, Western Sydney University; & Natalia Vergara, PhD, University of Colorado.

Date: 20th December 2023