Prof. dr. Johannes de Boer
VU University of Amsterdam, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Imaging the Retina for Early Alzheimer Diagnosis (I-READ)
Alzheimer's disease & other dementias
Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated that amyloid beta (A?) plaques, a well-known hallmark of AD, can be optically detected in the retina of live mouse models and in post-mortem human eyes of AD patients using curcumin as fluorescent dye. A major challenge in translating these preclinical results to use in patients is the presence of strong autofluorescence in the retina which leads to a poor signal-to-background ratio. We propose to develop a multi-wavelength, depth-sensitive confocal fluorescence scanning laser ophthalmoscope for efficient, non-invasive imaging of A? plaques in the human retina. The use of dual wavelength excitation and depth-sensitive detection will allow discrimination of curcumin labeled A? and autofluorescence background. The method will be evaluated in a proof of principle study in 20 subjects at the Alzheimer Center of the VU University medical center.