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The application of retinal fundus camera imaging in dementia: a systematic review

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    Rights statement: (c) 2016 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-107
JournalAlzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring
Early online date2 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


INTRODUCTION: The ease of imaging the retinal vasculature, and the evolving evidence suggesting this microvascular bed might reflect the cerebral microvasculature, presents an opportunity to investigate cerebrovascular disease and the contribution of microvascular disease to dementia with fundus camera imaging.
METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis was carried out to assess the measurement of retinal properties in dementia using fundus imaging.
RESULTS: Ten studies assessing retinal properties in dementia were included. Quantitative measurement revealed significant yet inconsistent pathologic changes in vessel caliber, tortuosity and fractal dimension. Retinopathy was more prevalent in dementia. No association of age-related macular degeneration with dementia was reported.
DISCUSSION: Inconsistent findings across studies provides tentative support for the application of fundus camera imaging as a means of identifying changes associated with dementia. The potential of fundus image analysis in differentiating between dementia subtypes should be investigated using larger well characterised samples. Future work should focus on refining and standardising methods and measurements.

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