NIH Research Festival
BACKGROUND: Abnormalities in the retinal microvasculature may be an easily obtainable and low-cost risk indicator associated with AD (Alzheimer‚Äôs disease) pathogenesis.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to test the association of retinal microvascular abnormalities in mid and late life and late life cerebral amyloid burden.
METHODS: Participants from the ARIC‚ÄêPET (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities‚ÄêPositron Emission Tomography) study with a valid retinal measure (N= 285) were included. The associations between mid- and late-life retinal signs with greater late-life amyloid-Œ≤ (AŒ≤) by florbetapir PET were tested using logistic regression models. It was also assessed whether a newly created retinal score, incorporating multiple markers of abnormal retinovascular, was associated with greater AŒ≤ burden.
RESULTS: Retinopathy in midlife (OR (95% CI) = 0.36 (0.08, 1.40)) or late life (OR (95% CI) = 2.87 (0.84, 11.5)) was not significantly associated with greater late-life AŒ≤ burden in nondemented adults. A high retinal score in late life, indicating a higher burden of retinal abnormalities, was however significantly associated with greater AŒ≤ burden adjusting for demographic and genetic confounders (OR (95% CI)= 3.58 (1.09, 14.2)).
CONCLUSION: The newly created retinal score may serve as a risk indicator for greater AŒ≤ burden in the general population. Well-powered future studies with a greater number of retinal features and other microvascular signs are needed to test these findings.
Scientific Focus Area: Neuroscience
This page was last updated on Monday, September 25, 2023