It has been more than 100 years since Alois Alzheimer identified Alzheimer disease (AD), and almost 40 years since the role of amyloid-β (Aβ) and tau proteins, 2 key molecular factors in the AD pathophysiologic patterns, were identified.1 Alzheimer disease is now recognized as a multifaceted process that progresses along a continuum with a commonly defined starting point being the accumulation of the Aβ biomarker demonstrated on positron emission tomography (PET) or cerebrospinal fluid analysis. The epidemic of AD has already decreased the life expectancy in the US,2 adding to the urgency to identify a noninvasive biomarker to easily detect not only those with symptomatic AD, but also those with preclinical AD for whom lifestyle modifications, such as diet, exercise, and cognitive engagement, may delay onset. The retina holds promise in being able to provide such a biomarker, yet challenges remain, ranging from our evolving understanding of underlying AD pathophysiologic characteristics to current limitations of retinal imaging.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Grewal DS, Fekrat S. Structural and Functional Retinal Changes in Preclinical Alzheimer Disease. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online March 25, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2021.0319
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: