Visual symptoms are often overlooked in patients with MSA. Measuring changes in the retina may prove useful for monitoring the disease progression in clinical trials.

The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye that is considered part of the brain. It contains photoreceptor cells, which convert images into electrical signals and transport this information to the visual cortex through the optic nerve. Because the retina is densely innervated by nerve cells, it’s not at all surprising that it can be affected in many neurological diseases leading to vision problems.

The Dysautonomia Center team just published a new study describing the retina in multiple system atrophy (MSA) – a degenerative disease closely related with Parkinson disease. The team measured the retinal structure using optical coherence tomography (or OCT for short). The technique is safe, fast, entire non-invasive and scans the eye within minutes. It has better resolution than a standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Despite the fact that patients with MSA don’t complain of visual problems, the study showed that…

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