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Subspecialties Neuro-ophthalmology, Imaging & Diagnostics, Retina, Basic & Translational Research

From the Eye to the Brain

Estimates suggest that 50 million people were living with dementia in 2017. With the progressive aging of the population, the number is predicted to reach 75 million by 2030. Yet it has been noted that 50 to 80 percent of cases remain undiagnosed in high income-countries. Why? Part of the issue lies with the logistics of making a diagnosis. The gold standard for the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, has classically been neuropathological confirmation, post-mortem. Research into newer techniques, such as amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) scanning and cerebrospinal fluid analysis, has supported their utility as potential biomarkers; however, these tests are invasive, expensive, and not pragmatic on a large scale. Could assessment of the neurosensory retina – derived embryologically from the same tissue – be the answer?

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About the Authors

Pearse Keane

A specialist in in applied clinical imaging research, Pearse has a particular interest in optical coherence tomography. Now a consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital, he previously carried out OCT research with some of the original inventors of the technology at the Doheny Eye Institute. As the first UK ophthalmologist to receive a Clinician Scientist Award from the National Institute of Health Research, his current work focuses on exploring the potential of new technologies and innovations in the treatment of visual impairment and blindness.


Siegfried Wagner

NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow at Moorfields Eye Hospital

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