The possible interconnection between the eye and central nervous system (CNS) has been a topic of discussion for several years just based on fact that the eye is properly considered an extension of the brain. Both organs consist of neurons and derived from a neural tube. The visual process involves photoreceptors that receive light stimulus from the external environment and send it to retinal ganglionic cells (RGC), one of the cell types of which the retina is composed. The retina, the internal visual membrane of the eye, processes the visual stimuli in electric stimuli to transfer it to the brain, through the optic nerve. Retinal chronic progressive neurodegeneration, which may occur among the elderly, can lead to different disorders of the eye such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and diabetic retinopathy (DR). Mainly in the elderly population, but also among younger people, such ocular pathologies are the cause of irreversible blindness or impaired, reduced vision. Typical neurodegenerative diseases of the CSN are a group of pathologies with common characteristics and etiology not fully understood; some risk factors have been identified, but they are not enough to justify all the cases observed. Furthermore, several studies have shown that also ocular disorders present characteristics of neurodegenerative diseases and, on the other hand, CNS pathologies, i.e., Alzheimer disease (AD) and Parkinson disease (PD), which are causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, show peculiar alterations at the ocular level. The knowledge of possible correlations could help to understand the mechanisms of onset. Moreover, the underlying mechanisms of these heterogeneous disorders are still debated. This review discusses the characteristics of the ocular illnesses, focusing on the relationship between the eye and the brain. A better comprehension could help in future new therapies, thus reducing or avoiding loss of vision and improve quality of life.
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