Sharon Fekrat, MD was invited to provide testimony to the US Senate Special Committee on Aging on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 following widespread media coverage of the recently published study titled "Retinal microvascular and neurodegenerative changes in Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment compared with control participants". Read press release
Lead coauthors Dilraj Grewal MD and Stephen Yoon, BS attended the hearing as well to meet the Committee members, field questions, and meet other select members of the Senate. Other coauthors Atalie C,Thompson, MD; MPH, James R Burke, MD, PhD; Bryce Polascik; and Cynthia Dunn, PA watched the testimony live. Watch Dr. Fekrat starting at 55:50.
Their work suggests that decreased superficial retinal blood vessel density as well as thinning of the ganglion cell layer of the retina are present in individuals with Alzheimer's disease compared to those with mild cognitive impairment and compared to cognitively healthy adult controls, even after controlling for age, sex, and years of education. Ultimately the use of OCT-A alone or in combination with multimodal retinal imaging may be able to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease before a person begins to show clinical signs.