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Dr. Okun

New Study: Retina and Parkinson's Disease

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Dr. Bodis-Wollner who directs a NPF center of excellence at Suny has penned a very interesting article about involvement of the retina in PD. He contends that the retina which may be visualized and photographed, may provide a clue as an early biomarker for PD- in the future. I am pasting his abstract below for our forum members.


J Neural Transm. 2009 Sep 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Retinopathy in Parkinson disease.


Bodis-Wollner I.

NPF Center of Excellence, Department of Neurology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA, ivan.bodis-wollner@downstate.edu.

One of the non-motor manifestations of PD is visual system involvement. Foveal vision is a main contributor to both visual recognition and discrimination and to both overt and covert visual attention. Experimental evidence from humans and monkeys shows that D1 and D2 receptors are essential for retinal ganglion cell receptive field organization. The evidence linking retinopathy and foveal visual impairment in PD is discussed. A model of retinal preganglionic dopaminergic circuitry is presented. Experimental evidence in humans, using Optical Coherence Tomography shows morphological changes of retinal neurons, including ganglion cells in PD. The diagnosis of pre-cardinal stage of PD (PCPD) may take advantage of the wide availability of optical coherence tomography as a potential biomarker. Fourier-domain OCT and visual testing may contribute a quantitative approach to the early diagnosis, the effects of treatment and follow-up of progression of PD.

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