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The use of psychophysical and electrophysiological visual tests in the identification of biomarkers of the COVID-19 infection

Grant number: 19/18487-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2019
Effective date (End): November 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Experimental Psychology
Principal Investigator:Dora Selma Fix Ventura
Grantee:Luiz Claudio Portnoi Baran
Host Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/26818-2 - Development and implementation of visual evaluation methods: clinical applications and animal models, AP.TEM


The Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the main cause of dementia around the world, in an ever growing older population. Most diagnostic exams are expensive and invasive, only detecting AD in the later stages of the disease. With that in mind, the pre-mortem diagnostic is one of the main focus of study of the AD, especially in its early stages, permiting that the patient has access to treatments that expand his survival rate while improving his quality of life. That is the reason why methodologies that can work as AD biomarker make themselves necessary. The retina, as a CNS extension, is also targeted by the rise of AD biomarkers, such as amyloid ² plaques, being object of study in researchs that detected tissue damage and visual disfunctions in the AD, through a series of methods, from hystological pos-mortem examinations to psychophysical and eletrophysiological evaluations. The functional study of vision coupled with the morphologic study of the retina allow the carachterization of the neural degenaration due to the AD trough minimum invasive, objectives, quantitatives and simple approaches, that constitute potential biomarkers. Moreso, researchs have suggested that visual and ophthalmological alterations in the DA can manifest themselves even before the rise of cogntive impairments. Thus, visual testing can contribute to the diagnostico of AD in pre-clinical and prodromal stages, which is essential to an adequate an eficiente treatment. The present project fits in the strand os studies that makes use of ophthalmological, psycophysical and eletrophysiological tests to evaluate AD and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) patients. This is a well stablished research área, but there is a need for more studies to define appropriately a set of tests that can work as a biomarker of the AD. The present work differentiates itself from most of the studies in the field due to being a prospective evaluation of AD and MCI patients, instead of being a cross-sectional analysis. Moreover, the presente Project is a multimodal reseach that will evaluate the visual impairment though Eletrophysiological test (ERG, PERG and PVE), pupilary light reflex and colour discrimination (Cambridge Colour Test - CCT), offering comprehensive data of the visual losse in the AD, allowing the possibility of identifying which tests have the highest potential for AD progression biomarkers. (AU)

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