Journal Article

The retina in Parkinson's disease

Neil K. Archibald, Michael P. Clarke, Urs P. Mosimann and David J. Burn

in Brain

Published on behalf of The Guarantors of Brain

Volume 132, issue 5, pages 1128-1145
Published in print May 2009 | ISSN: 0006-8950
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2156 | DOI:
The retina in Parkinson's disease

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As a more complete picture of the clinical phenotype of Parkinson's disease emerges, non-motor symptoms have become increasingly studied. Prominent among these non-motor phenomena are mood disturbance, cognitive decline and dementia, sleep disorders, hyposmia and autonomic failure. In addition, visual symptoms are common, ranging from complaints of dry eyes and reading difficulties, through to perceptual disturbances (feelings of presence and passage) and complex visual hallucinations. Such visual symptoms are a considerable cause of morbidity in Parkinson's disease and, with respect to visual hallucinations, are an important predictor of cognitive decline as well as institutional care and mortality. Evidence exists of visual dysfunction at several levels of the visual pathway in Parkinson's disease. This includes psychophysical, electrophysiological and morphological evidence of disruption of retinal structure and function, in addition to disorders of ‘higher’ (cortical) visual processing. In this review, we will draw together work from animal and human studies in an attempt to provide an insight into how Parkinson's disease affects the retina and how these changes might contribute to the visual symptoms experienced by patients.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease; visual hallucinations; visual perception; retina; dopamine

Journal Article.  12107 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology ; Neuroscience

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