The Retinal Posterior Pole in Early Parkinson’s Disease: A Fundus Perimetry and SD-OCT Study

A lot going on in this relatively small study. The holy grail is neurodegenerative disease is to find an easy way to diagnose them earlier. A lot of this work is focused on the eye because it is an extension of the brain, and it is relatively easy to examine.

Our results showed that the retinal structure in the posterior pole differed statistically between patients with early PD and controls; in particular, in patients’ eyes, the outer nuclear layer (ONL) was thinner, whereas the outer plexiform layer (OPL) and the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) were thicker.

I think about early in my career being able to have ready and east access to this type of information. It was science fiction or ridiculously expensive.

Chorostecki et al found a significant increase in OPL thickness in Parkinson’s patients in the early stage. The increased thickness of the OPL in our patients is consistent with results from other studies suggesting local accumulation of α-syn in this layer,23–25 since Parkinson’s Disease is characterized by pathological deposits of a-synuclein throughout the central nervous system. However, other authors have shown that phosphorylated α-syn accumulates in the retina between the GCL and IPL, in parallel with that in the brain.

I urge you to read the study as it educated me on the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease. Amazing stuff.