May neurosensory retina provide a window into pathology of the central nervous system?

Some patients with Parkinson disease present with atypical features, complicating the diagnostic process. There is a need for noninvasive biomarkers that may improve our ability not only to diagnose Parkinson disease, but also perhaps to identify individuals with presymptomatic or preclinical disease to enable earlier therapeutic interventions.

Robbins and colleagues report 2% to 3% lower superficial capillary plexus vessel density and perfusion density, 9% to 10% higher total choroidal and choroidal luminal area, and 1% lower choroidal vascularity index in eyes from patients with Parkinson disease compared normal controls. Although these biomarkers are not yet ready for clinical practice, these findings suggest that OCT and OCTA may be a valuable addition to our armamentarium for parkinson disease diagnosis.

Lin JB, Apte RS. Seeing Parkinson Disease in the Retina. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2021;139(2):189-190.

Robbins CB, Thompson AC, Bhullar PK, et al. Characterization of Retinal Microvascular and Choroidal Structural Changes in Parkinson Disease. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2021;139(2):182-188.



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