Researchers studying links between retinal appearance, Alzheimer’s

Raji (left) and Van Stavern

Four years after Washington University in St. Louis researchers detected a possible link between risk for Alzheimer’s disease and the appearance of the eye’s retina, a $10.3 million grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expanding the effort to understand that connection.

Gregory P. Van Stavern, MD, a professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences and the senior author of the paper published in JAMA Ophthalmology in 2018 that identified the possible connection, is the principal investigator at the St. Louis study site. Cyrus Raji, MD, an assistant professor of radiology and of neurology, is the leader of the study’s brain imaging core.

Washington University also will be a clinical center in the study. Jessica Alber, PhD, an assistant professor of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences at the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience at the University of Rhode Island, is the study’s principal investigator.