Studies of rodent models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and of human tissues suggest that the retinal changes that occur in AD, including the accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ), may serve as surrogate markers of brain Aβ levels. As Aβ has a wavelength-dependent effect on light scatter, we investigate the potential for in vivo retinal hyperspectral imaging to serve as a biomarker of brain Aβ. Significant differences in the retinal reflectance spectra are found between individuals with high Aβ burden on brain PET imaging and mild cognitive impairment (n = 15), and age-matched PET-negative controls (n = 20). Retinal imaging scores are correlated with brain Aβ loads. The findings are validated in an independent cohort, using a second hyperspectral camera. A similar spectral difference is found between control and 5xFAD transgenic mice that accumulate Aβ in the brain and retina. These findings indicate that retinal hyperspectral imaging may predict brain Aβ load.
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