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OCTA in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease


This study aims to develop and evaluate biomarkers using a noninvasive optical imaging techniqueoptical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA)to assess the structure and function of retinal blood vessels in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease. By identifying differences in vascular structure, researchers hope to provide a proof of concept for using OCTA as a screening tool in cognitive decline.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
18 Years N/A All Yes
July 2017
December 31, 2021

  • Diagnosis of MCI or Alzheimer's disease

  • Diagnosis of a dementia other than Alzheimer's
  • Diabetes
  • Evidence of glaucoma, macular degeneration, or other neurologic or age-related eye or vision condition that could impact results
  • Previous eye surgery, other than cataract surgery
  • Inability to cooperate with or complete testing

Note: If two eyes satisfy the inclusion criteria, both eyes will be included in the study. If one eye satisfies the inclusion criteria, the eye that qualifies will be included in the study.

OCTA is an imaging technique that allows researchers to see detailed scans of blood vessels and blood flow in the eye. The investigators hypothesize that changes to the blood-vessel system in the retina mirror and possibly precede changes in the brain's blood vessels seen in MCI and Alzheimer's disease. Using advanced image analysis, researchers aim to evaluate markers of reduced capillary blood flow in the eye, complement already established retinal structural markers, and increase their sensitivity and specificity in the early detection of MCI and Alzheimers disease.

Participants will undergo noninvasive eye scans, which will be compared to those of control participants who are matched by age, gender, and race to each participant with MCI or Alzheimer's disease. Control participants may be recruited from the family members or caregivers of those diagnosed with MCI or Alzheimer's.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
Duke University Medical Center
Durham North Carolina 27705 Recruiting Dilraj Grewal, MD

Duke University

Name Role Affiliation
Dilraj Grewal, MD Principal Investigator Duke University
Sharon Fekrat, MD Study Director Duke University

Name Phone Email
Dilraj Grewal, MD 919-684-4458


Evaluating the Retinal Microvasculature in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease Using Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography