Outer retinal assessment using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography in patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease

Atsuro Uchida, Jagan A. Pillai, Robert Bermel, Aaron Bonner-Jackson, Alexander Rae-Grant, Hubert Fernandez, James Bena, Stephen E. Jones, James B. Leverenz, Sunil K. Srivastava, Justis P. Ehlers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE. To investigate outer retinal parameters among patients with various chronic neurodegenerative disorders by using spectral-domain coherence tomography (OCT) in a prospective cross-sectional cohort study. METHODS. A total of 132 participants were enrolled following a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation with neurologic, neuropsychology, and magnetic resonance imaging volumetric evaluations. Participants were 50 years or older, either diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia, amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), non-AD dementia, Parkinson’s disease (PD), or age-and sex-matched controls. All participants underwent a macular cube scan for both eyes by using the Cirrus 4000 HD-OCT (Zeiss, Oberkochen, Germany). The OCT image with the best quality was selected for further analysis. Outer retinal parameters including ellipsoid zone mapping and outer nuclear layer metrics were evaluated with a novel software platform. RESULTS. One hundred twenty-four eyes of 124 participants with AD dementia (24 eyes), amnestic MCI (22 eyes), non-AD dementia (20 eyes), PD (22 eyes), and age-and sex-matched controls (36 eyes) were included in the analysis. Eight eyes were excluded either due to the presence of macular disease or poor quality of the OCT image. The mean ages of participants were 65.9 ± 8.9 years. The outer retinal thickness measures did not show any statistical significance between the groups. However, ellipsoid zone to retinal pigment epithelium volume correlated with cognitive testing scores in all study participants. CONCLUSIONS. There were no identifiable differences in the outer retinal metrics across neurodegenerative disease groups and controls. The relationship between the degree of cognitive impairment and ellipsoid zone to retinal pigment epithelium volume warrants further study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2768-2777
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • OCT
  • Parkinson’s disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Outer retinal assessment using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography in patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this