Recent literature agrees that neurodegenerative processes involve both the retina
and the central nervous system, which are two strictly related anatomical structures. However,
the causal mechanisms of this dual involvement are still uncertain. To date, anterograde
transsynaptic neurodegeneration, triggered by retinal ganglion cells’ death, and
retrograde transsynaptic neurodegeneration, induced by neurodegenerative processes of the
central nervous system, has been considered the major possible causal mechanisms. The development
of novel neuroimaging techniques has recently supported both the study of the
central stations of the visual pathway as well as the study of the retina which is possibly an
open window to the central nervous system.
Keywords: Neurodegeneration, MRI, eye, central nervous system, glaucoma, Alzheimer, Parkinson, multiple sclerosis.
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