Does retina play a role in Parkinson’s Disease?
Visual disorder is one of the non-motor symptoms found in Parkinson’s disease (PD). It can be easily identified in the early stages even before the spread of pathological conditions to the brain parts. Studies have revealed that loss of dopamine (DA) cells in retinal layers is a prime cause for both retinal disturbance and pathological conditions of PD. This reduction of DA in retina is due to the aggregation of phosphorylated α-synuclein (aSyn) in the intra-retinal region, which eventually results in visual impairment in PD. Until now, very limited studies have been focused on the mechanism of aSyn influence and DA depletion as a cause for both retinal layer dysfunction and PD. Thus, more research is warranted to provide the missing connection between the exact role of DA and aSyn as a risk factor for visual problems in PD. Hence, the current review’s focus is on the function and effects of DA degeneration in retinal cells of PD. Further, we suggest that iron plays a major role in regulating the aggregation of aSyn in the DA cells of retina and brain in PD. The study finds that the unidentified pathophysiological role of retinal degeneration in PD is an essential biomarker that needs further investigation to use it as a novel therapy in treating retinal dysfunctions in PD.