Characterization of retinal architecture in Parkinson's disease

Jessica Chorostecki, Navid Seraji-Bozorgzad, Aashka Shah, Fen Bao, Ginny Bao, Edwin George, Veronica Gorden, Christina Caon, Elliot Frohman, M. Tariq Bhatti, Omar Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Background Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with dopaminergic cell loss and α-synuclein aggregation in Lewy bodies, which has been demonstrated in the retina. Methods We performed a spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) study in patients with PD and healthy controls to measure the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and macular volume. Intra-retinal segmentation was performed to measure the volume of the retinal nerve fiber (RNFL), ganglion cell (GCL), inner plexiform (IPL), inner nuclear (INL), outer plexiform (OPL), and outer nuclear (ONL) layers. Analysis was carried out blinded to the clinical status of study participants. Results 101 PD and 46 healthy control eyes were included in the study. In PD patients, peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer was not significantly thinner (96.95 μm vs 94.42 μm, p = 0.08) but macular volume was (8.58 mm3 vs 8.33 mm3, p = 0.0002). Intra-retinal segmentation showed that PD subjects have reduced GCL, IPL, INL and ONL volumes. In contrast, the OPL volume was significantly increased (0.81 mm3 vs 0.78 mm3 p = 0.0214). Conclusions Thickening of the OPL is a novel finding which may correspond to the localization of α-synuclein in the OPL of PD patients. We hypothesize that the enlargement of the OPL may represent a potential biomarker of α-synuclein aggregation in PD. This may have significant clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-48
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 15 2015


  • Alpha-synuclein
  • Dopamine
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of retinal architecture in Parkinson's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this