Retinal ganglion cells in Alzheimer's disease and aging

Academic Article


  • Optic nerve and retinal gangliion cell (GC) degeneration are possible explanations for the poor visul function reported in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). We investigated whether GC loss could be attributed to AD compared with control subjects by measuring the spatial density of GC(vells/mm2) with methods previously used to analyze the GC distribution of young normal retinas. Retinas from 4 autopsy‐confirmed, severely demented partients with AD and 4 age and sex‐matched control subjects (ages, 66‐86 yr for both groups) withould history of dementing or ocular disease were prepared as unstained whold mounts. Therer was no evidence for loss of GC within the central 43 degrees of vision in patients with AD. The densityof GC subserving the central 11 degrees of vision was reduced by one‐fourth in both AD and control eyes compared with retinas from young adults, as was GC density in a wedge of nasal retina. This loss may contribute to deficits in visual function found in aged individuals, whether or not they have dementia. Copyright © 1993 American Neurological Association
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Curcio CA; Drucker DN
  • Start Page

  • 248
  • End Page

  • 257
  • Volume

  • 33
  • Issue

  • 3