Through the eyes into the brain, using artificial intelligence

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INTRODUCTION: Detection of neurological conditions is of high importance in the current context of increasingly ageing populations. Imaging of the retina and the optic nerve head represents a unique opportunity to detect brain diseases, but requires specific human expertise. We review the current outcomes of artificial intelligence (AI) methods applied to retinal imaging for the detection of neurological and neuro-ophthalmic conditions. METHOD: Current and emerging concepts related to the detection of neurological conditions, using AI-based investigations of the retina in patients with brain disease were examined and summarised. RESULTS: Papilloedema due to intracranial hypertension can be accurately identified with deep learning on standard retinal imaging at a human expert level. Emerging studies suggest that patients with Alzheimer's disease can be discriminated from cognitively normal individuals, using AI applied to retinal images. CONCLUSION: Recent AI-based systems dedicated to scalable retinal imaging have opened new perspectives for the detection of brain conditions directly or indirectly affecting retinal structures. However, further validation and implementation studies are required to better understand their potential value in clinical practice.




Sathianvichitr, K., Lamoureux, O., Nakada, S., Tang, Z., Schmetterer, L., Chen, C., … Milea, D. (2023, February 1). Through the eyes into the brain, using artificial intelligence. Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore. NLM (Medline).

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