Posterior Cortical Atrophy


Due to its initial manifestation with visual symptoms, posterior cortical atrophy may be mistakenly identified as a vision impairment. It is imperative to seek evaluation from a neurologist or a neuro-ophthalmologist for an accurate diagnosis. Neurologists are proficient in addressing brain and nervous system disorders, while neuro-ophthalmologists specialize in neurological and vision-related conditions.

To diagnose posterior cortical atrophy, the doctor will assess your medical history, focusing on symptoms including vision impairments. A comprehensive physical and neurological examination will also be conducted. Various tests may aid in diagnosing the condition and excluding other disorders with similar symptoms. These tests may comprise:

  • Cognitive assessments and neuropsychological evaluations: You will undergo questioning and various tests to evaluate cognitive abilities, and screening for mental health conditions like depression may also be conducted.
  • Ophthalmological examination: Vision tests will be conducted to rule out ocular issues as potential causes of your visual symptoms.
  • Laboratory blood tests: Blood samples will be analyzed to check for deficiencies in vitamins, thyroid disorders, and other underlying conditions that may contribute to your symptoms.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Using powerful radio waves and a magnetic field, an MRI scan provides detailed 3D images of your brain, allowing healthcare providers to identify any changes potentially related to your symptoms.
  • Functional brain imaging: Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET  imaging or Single-Photon Emission Computerized Tomography (SPECT) scans involve injecting a small amount of radioactive material to visualize brain activity or measure blood flow to different brain regions, respectively.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid analysis: A sample of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord is extracted to measure levels of amyloid and tau proteins, which are indicative of Alzheimer’s disease.


Currently, there are no known treatments to halt or decelerate the progression of posterior cortical atrophy. While certain studies propose that medications utilized to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease could potentially alleviate symptoms of posterior cortical atrophy, this hypothesis lacks conclusive evidence and necessitates further investigation.

Despite the absence of curative treatments, various therapies and medications can aid in managing the condition. These may encompass:

  • Medications. Your doctor may prescribe medications to alleviate symptoms such as depression or anxiety.
  • Physical, occupational or cognitive therapy. Your ability to maintain or restore skills that are impacted by posterior cortical atrophy might be enhanced by these therapy.