Retinal Disturbances in Patients and Animal Models with Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease

  • C. SantanoEmail author
  • M. Pérez de Lara
  • J. Pintor
Part of the Oxidative Stress in Applied Basic Research and Clinical Practice book series (OXISTRESS)


Huntington’s disease (HD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are neurodegenerative disorders associated with aging. The main hallmarks of these pathologies are deposits of mutant proteins, mitochondrial dysfunctions, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and neuronal death. These diseases affect from heterogeneous form to different brain regions. In fact, psychophysical, electrophysiological and morphological evidence shows that retinal and higher visual centers disturbances occur in HD, PD and AD. Thus, patients with these disorders suffer contrast sensitivity deficits, altered color vision and damaged conscious and unconscious visual perception. These visual deficiencies may contribute to symptoms of these pathologies related to behavior, memory and difficulty in performing daily tasks such as driving, reading or keeping their balance. This chapter tries to integrate the visual changes in pathogenesis and symptomatology of patients with HD, PD and AD and reviews the recent findings in animal models of these diseases to provide an insight into how retinal changes might contribute to symptoms of HD, PD and AD.


Alzheimer’s disease Huntington’s disease Melatonin Neurodegenerative disorders Parkinson’s disease Retina Reactive oxygen species 





Alzheimer’s disease


Amyloid precursor protein


Amyloid precursor protein with the double Swedish mutation

Amyloid β peptides


Contrast sensitivity




Huntington’s disease








1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine


Neuron-restrictive silencer elements


Neuron-restrictive silencer factor


Parkinson’s disease, PERG, pattern electroretinogram


Phosphatase-tensin homologue induced putative kinase 1


Presenilin 1


Repressor-element 1 silencing transcription factor


Reactive oxygen species


Visual evoked potentials



We thank Dr. Charles H.V. Hoyle for reading this manuscript and providing useful criticism. This work has been supported by The Comunidad de Madrid NEUROTRANS CM S-SAL-0253-2006.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología MolecularEscuela de Optica UCMMadridSpain

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