In vivo exploration of retinal nerve fiber layer morphology in Parkinson’s disease patients

Femke Visser, Koenraad A. Vermeer, Babak Ghafaryasl, Annemarie M.M. Vlaar, Valentin Apostolov, Jan van Hellenberg Hubar, Henry C. Weinstein, Johannes F. de Boer, Henk W. Berendse

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Thinning of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) is a recently discovered feature of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Its exact pathological mechanism is yet unknown. We aimed to determine whether morphological changes of the RNFL are limited to RNFL thinning or also comprise an altered internal structure of this layer. Therefore, we investigated RNFL thickness and applied the RNFL attenuation coefficient (RNFL-AC), a novel method derived from optical coherence tomography, in PD patients and healthy controls (HCs). In this pilot study, we included 20 PD patients and 20 HCs matched for age, sex, and ethnicity. An ophthalmologist investigated all participants thoroughly, and we acquired retinal images from both eyes of each participant with a Spectralis optical coherence tomography system. We obtained both the RNFL-AC and RNFL thickness from peripapillary RNFL scans for the entire RNFL, as well as for each quadrant separately. We found no significant differences in the average RNFL-AC or the RNFL-AC of the separate retinal quadrants between PD patients and the HC group. However, compared to the HC group, PD patients had a significantly thinner RNFL in the temporal retinal quadrant. RNFL thinning was found in the temporal quadrant in PD patients without a corresponding change in the RNFL-AC. These findings suggest a reduction in the number of RNFL axons (atrophy) without other major changes in the structural integrity of the remaining RNFL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-936
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Volume125
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2018

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Nerve Fibers
Parkinson Disease
Optical Coherence Tomography
Control Groups
Atrophy
Axons

Keywords

  • Attenuation coefficient
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Retinal nerve fiber layer

Cite this

Visser, F., Vermeer, K. A., Ghafaryasl, B., Vlaar, A. M. M., Apostolov, V., van Hellenberg Hubar, J., ... Berendse, H. W. (2018). In vivo exploration of retinal nerve fiber layer morphology in Parkinson’s disease patients. Journal of Neural Transmission, 125(6), 931-936. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00702-018-1872-6
Visser, Femke ; Vermeer, Koenraad A. ; Ghafaryasl, Babak ; Vlaar, Annemarie M.M. ; Apostolov, Valentin ; van Hellenberg Hubar, Jan ; Weinstein, Henry C. ; de Boer, Johannes F. ; Berendse, Henk W. / In vivo exploration of retinal nerve fiber layer morphology in Parkinson’s disease patients. In: Journal of Neural Transmission. 2018 ; Vol. 125, No. 6. pp. 931-936.
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Visser, F, Vermeer, KA, Ghafaryasl, B, Vlaar, AMM, Apostolov, V, van Hellenberg Hubar, J, Weinstein, HC, de Boer, JF & Berendse, HW 2018, 'In vivo exploration of retinal nerve fiber layer morphology in Parkinson’s disease patients' Journal of Neural Transmission, vol. 125, no. 6, pp. 931-936. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00702-018-1872-6

In vivo exploration of retinal nerve fiber layer morphology in Parkinson’s disease patients. / Visser, Femke; Vermeer, Koenraad A.; Ghafaryasl, Babak; Vlaar, Annemarie M.M.; Apostolov, Valentin; van Hellenberg Hubar, Jan; Weinstein, Henry C.; de Boer, Johannes F.; Berendse, Henk W.

In: Journal of Neural Transmission, Vol. 125, No. 6, 08.03.2018, p. 931-936.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Apostolov, Valentin

AU - van Hellenberg Hubar, Jan

AU - Weinstein, Henry C.

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KW - Optical coherence tomography

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Visser F, Vermeer KA, Ghafaryasl B, Vlaar AMM, Apostolov V, van Hellenberg Hubar J et al. In vivo exploration of retinal nerve fiber layer morphology in Parkinson’s disease patients. Journal of Neural Transmission. 2018 Mar 8;125(6):931-936. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00702-018-1872-6