Outer retina thinning detected by optical coherence tomography (OCT) may be associated with frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), new research suggests, according to a report in Medscape.
The thinning correlates with disease severity, the authors indicate in their September 8 online report in Neurology.
"Our data suggest that FTD patients, particularly those with a tauopathy, may have outer retina thinning. FTD can be difficult to clinically distinguish from Alzheimer’s disease, which is associated with inner retina thinning. This suggests that neurodegenerative diseases with different brain pathology may also have specific retinal findings related to the brain pathology," lead author Dr. Benjamin J. Kim of the Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, told Reuters Health.
"The data further develop the concept that the retina has potential as a biomarker for brain pathology," he said in an email. "OCT imaging of the retina is noninvasive, quick, and safe. We are interested in determining if it can be used as a biomarker for FTD patients with a tauopathy. Thus, a biomarker for tauopathy patients will increase the chances of finding treatments (for) them."