Exploring retinal changes in Dementia and Multiple Sclerosis

  • Lajos Csincsik

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Diagnosis and monitoring progression of neurodegenerative diseases relies on the assessment of clinical symptoms such as cognitive impairment in Alzheimer`s disease (AD) and disability in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Detection of molecular and morphological hallmarks in the brain or spinal cord is invasive, insensitive and expensive. It has been hypothesized that changes in the retina may mirror changes in the brain. In contrast to brain imaging, imaging the eye is quick, non-invasive, inexpensive and might offering a unique “window to the brain” To test this hypothesis eye imaging studies were set up of cohorts with different type of neurodegenerative conditions such as typical and atypical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In this thesis I report on results using optical coherence tomography (OCT) as “gold standard” in neuro ophthalmology, alongside with new eye imaging and testing modalities such as ultra-widefield laser scanning ophthalmoscopy imaging (UWFI), adaptive optics (AO) and widefield perimetry combined with recently developed image analysis methods and algorithms.

In this thesis I present evidences that there are detectable changes on different eye imaging modalities that correlate with disease type and stage and outline how future studies will benefit from these results, studies that are already under way.
Date of AwardJul 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsOptos plc
SupervisorImre Lengyel (Supervisor) & Tunde Peto (Supervisor)


  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Posterior Cortical Atrophy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Retinal atrophy
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Retinal thickness
  • Retinal thinning
  • Eye imaging
  • Adaptive optics
  • Widefield perimetry
  • Ultra-widefield retinal imaging
  • Optos
  • OCT imaging
  • Optical Coherence Tomography
  • AMD
  • Age-related Macular Degeneration
  • Drusen
  • Peripheral drusen
  • Reticular pseudodrusen
  • Sub-RPE deposit
  • Sub-retinal deposit
  • Peripheral Reticular Pigmentary Degeneration
  • Peripheral retina
  • Retinal periphery
  • SIVA
  • Retinal vascular parameters
  • Fractal dimension
  • Width gradient
  • BEAMS study
  • Belfast Eye and Multiple Sclerosis study
  • DFP study
  • Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study

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