Retinal vascular and GCL changes in patients with early glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease and normal controls

Mojtaba Golzan, Dana Georgevsky, Carolyn Orr, Angela Schulz, Stuart Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


Purpose: Glaucoma and Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been reported to share some common features including vascular dysfunction and degeneration of retinal ganglion cells. A recent study suggests that glaucoma prevalence is also higher in AD (2.6-5.2x). We investigated retinal vascular pulse amplitude and macula RNFL/GCL complex in these diseases.
Method: Fifty-six age-matched subjects were included (20 mild glaucoma (67 ± 10 year), 16 AD (67 ± 10 year) and 20 controls (66 ± 9 years)). Mild glaucoma was defined as MD < 5 dB with structural disc change. AD was confirmed by a neurologist. Pulse amplitude of retinal arteries and veins adjacent to the disc were measured using the Dynamic Vessel Analyser (Imedos, Germany) and macular RNFL/GCL thickness with Nidek Optical Coherence Tomography (Nidek, Japan).
Results: Mean IOP for the early glaucoma, AD and controls was 13 ± 1, 13 ± 3 and 14 ± 3 mmHg (P = NS). The mean retinal venous pulse amplitude was 3.9 ± 0.8, 5.8 ± 1.9, 5.9 ± 1.4 µm, and the retinal arterial pulse was 3.8 ± 0.9, 5 ± 1, 4.1 ± 1.1 µm, respectively. The average RNFL/GCL thickness was 91 ± 11, 97 ± 9 and 98 ± 7 µm, respectively. One-way analysis of variance revealed a significant difference between the three groups in both pulse amplitudes (artery; P < 0.05, vein; P < 0.001) and RNFL/GCL thickness (P < 0.01).
Conclusion: Higher arterial pulse amplitude in AD and lower venous pulse amplitude in glaucoma were observed. RNFL/GCL thickness in the AD group was only minimally less than controls (P > 0.05) but, as expected, was significantly lower in the glaucoma group (P < 0.01). The vascular parameters will be further investigated as potential new biomarkers in early diagnosis of AD-related vs glaucoma-related retinal changes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number45
Pages (from-to)95
Number of pages1
JournalClinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015
EventAnnual Scientific Congress of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (47th : 2015) - Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 31 Oct 20154 Nov 2015


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