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Approved Research

Retinal features in populations with different APOE genetic backgrounds.

Principal Investigator: Dr Qiaohua Zhao
Approved Research ID: 98803
Approval date: March 28th 2023

Lay summary

The APOE 4 allele, which affects approximately one-quarter of the population, is a major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Worse yet, the presence of APOE 4 may increase brain vulnerability, potentially lead to pathological brain aging. Therefore, monitoring early brain changes is particularly important for the prevention of brain disease in APOE 4 carriers.

Due to the embryonic original, structural, and functional similarities between the retina and the brain, as well as the availability of non-invasive retinal imaging, retinal imaging can be used as a means of early detection of the brain.

We are planning a 36-month project to investigate the retinal features of individuals with various APOE genotypes with the goal of detecting early changes in the brain using non-invasive retinal imaging including OCT, OCTA, and fundus photography, to validate the feasibility of using retinal imaging to track brain changes in APOE4 carriers and to provide early warning for neurodegenerative treatment and prevention for people with different APOE genotype.