The Potential to Optimize Clinical Trials Through Retinal Imaging: Sharon Cohen, MD, FRCPC

The neurologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto provided perspective on the multiple different ways retinal imaging can alter and improve the efficiency of research for Alzheimer disease. [WATCH TIME: 2 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 2 minutes

"The field is moving forward with biomarker confirmation of cohorts being exposed to experimental therapies; however, this increases the cost of this endeavor. If we could use RetiSpec to prescreen in the future or screen from a biomarker standpoint, that would be awesome. It would be cost-saving, make trials more effective, and more efficient."

There have been several different types of imaging approaches to understand and predict progression of Alzheimer disease (AD) and other cognitive impairment disorders. Looking through the eye, or retinal imaging, has become an alternative entry in the brain of these patients, considering a lot of the current technologies are often invasive, expensive, and not widely available. Hyperspectral retinal imaging tools like RetiSpec have shown promise early on, but further validation is needed.

Sharon Cohen, MD, FRCPC, lead investigator of a validation study that looked at RetiSpec, believes these types of approaches hold immense potential in the drug development field. Despite the increasing amount of funds poured into the therapeutic pipeline, there has been little regulatory success to show for in the past quarter century. Cohen, neurologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, noted that retinal imaging plays a key role in understanding whether potential treatments may have therapeutic benefit.

In an interview with NeurologyLive®, Cohen discussed the role retinal imaging can play in improving the systematic processes of AD drug development and screening for patients in these trials. She also stressed the cost savings of these types of approaches and the need for increased consideration in the future.