Neurodegenerative disease accounts for a large and increasing health and economic burden worldwide. With an increasingly aged population this burden is set to increase. Ocular neurodegenerative diseases make up a large proportion of neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness affecting >80 million people and diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes).
Given its ease of imaging and accessibility, the retina is an accessible component of the central nervous system and its role in neurodegenerative diseases is being increasingly recognized. Early retinal phenotypes have been demonstrated in human patients and animal models of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. In addition to understanding disease pathology and mechanisms, these phenotypes can also be utilized to identify biomarkers of disease and help stage brain pathology.
This Collection will highlight basic, translational, and clinical studies that address current research, problems, and knowledge gaps in retinal neurodegenerations in topics that include, but are not limited to:
- Retinal degenerations (e.g. retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt’s disease)
- Optic neuropathies (e.g. glaucoma, Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy, autosomal dominant optic atrophy)
- Retinal complications and neurodegenerations from systemic disease (e.g. diabetic retinopathy)
- Retinal phenotypes in neurodegenerative disease (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease)