Eye scan may enable early detection of Alzheimer’s disease

Monday, September 10, 2018

Long before someone exhibits signs of dementia such as memory loss or mood changes, their retinas may reveal the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis discovered that a group of seniors who were at risk of developing the disease, due to elevated levels of brain plaque, also had thinner retinas and fewer retinal blood vessels than other participants in the study. The findings suggest that a simple eye test may be able to detect Alzheimer’s disease in the very early stages. Currently, early signs of Alzheimer’s can only be detected through expensive and invasive tests such as PET scans and lumbar punctures to sample the cerebrospinal fluid. According to Dr. Gregory Van Stavern, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at Washington University, “The eye can really serve as a model for studying neurodegenerative diseases. And we can access the eye a lot easier than we can access the brain.”

SOURCE: CTV News, August 28, 2018
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/simple-eye-exam-may-be-able-to-screen-for-alzheimer-s-study-1.4072030

DATE Retrieved: August 30, 2018

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