Assessing the structure of the posterior visual pathway in bilateral macular degeneration

Holly Brown, Richard Gale, Andre Gouws, Richard Vernon, Archana Airody, Rachel Hanson, Heidi Baseler, Antony Morland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Macular degeneration (MD) embodies a collection of disorders causing a progressive loss of central vision. Cross-sectional MRI studies have revealed structural changes in the grey and white matter in the posterior visual pathway in MD but there remains a need to understand how such changes progress over time. To that end we assessed the posterior pathway, characterising the visual cortex and optic radiations over a ~ 2-year period in MD patients and controls. We performed cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of the former. Reduced cortical thickness and white matter integrity were observed in patients compared to controls, replicating previous findings. While faster, neither the rate of thinning in visual cortex nor the reduction in white matter integrity during the ~ 2-year period reached significance. We also measured cortical myelin density; cross-sectional data showed this was higher in patients than controls, likely as a result of greater thinning of non-myelinated tissue in patients. However, we also found evidence of a greater rate of loss of myelin density in the occipital pole in the patient group indicating that the posterior visual pathway is at risk in established MD. Taken together, our results revealed a broad decline in grey and white matter in the posterior visual pathway in bilateral MD; cortical thickness and fractional anisotropy show hints of an accelerated rate of loss also, with larger effects emerging in the occipital pole.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5008
Number of pages14
JournalScientific Reports
Volume13
Issue number1
Early online date27 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing the structure of the posterior visual pathway in bilateral macular degeneration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this