Visual system manifestations of Alzheimer's disease

Acta Ophthalmol. 2017 Dec;95(8):e668-e676. doi: 10.1111/aos.13319. Epub 2016 Nov 19.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an increasingly common disease with massive personal and economic costs. While it has long been known that AD impacts the visual system, there has recently been an increased focus on understanding both pathophysiological mechanisms that may be shared between the eye and brain and how related biomarkers could be useful for AD diagnosis. Here, were review pertinent cellular and molecular mechanisms of AD pathophysiology, the presence of AD pathology in the visual system, associated functional changes, and potential development of diagnostic tools based on the visual system. Additionally, we discuss links between AD and visual disorders, including possible pathophysiological mechanisms and their relevance for improving our understanding of AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; amyloid; biomarkers; neurodegeneration; ocular; retina; tau; visual; visual system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / complications*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Eye / diagnostic imaging*
  • Eye / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Vision Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Vision Disorders* / etiology
  • Vision Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Visual Acuity*
  • Visual Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Visual Cortex / physiopathology*