Structural imaging of the retina in psychosis spectrum disorders: current status and perspectives

Stefan Jerotic, Zora Ignjatovic, Steven M. Silverstein, Nadja P. Maric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Structural changes of the retina in schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders seem plausible as these conditions are accompanied by widespread morphological abnormalities of the brain. Advances in structural retinal imaging have led to the possibility of precise quantification of individual retinal layers, using optical coherence tomography (OCT) scanners. RECENT FINDINGS: The aggregation of information related to OCT findings in schizophrenia has resulted in three metaanalyses, which are currently described. Areas where retinal changes were reported include retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), ganglion cell layer complex (GCC), macular volume, and macular thickness, but findings on affected retinal segments vary to some extent across studies. Discrepancies in individual studies could be because of small samples, heterogeneity within schizophrenia (phase of the illness, illness duration, predominant symptomatology), inconsistent reporting of antipsychotic therapy, insufficient control of confounding variables (somatic comorbidities, smoking, and so on), and use of the different types of OCT scanners. SUMMARY: Exploration of potential disturbances in retinal architecture could provide new insights into neuronal changes associated with psychosis spectrum disorders, with potential to elucidate the nature and timing of developmental, progressive, inflammatory, and degenerative aspects of neuropathology and pathophysiology, and to assist with characterizing heterogeneity and facilitating personalized treatment approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-483
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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