A Simple Eye Test May Aid In Diagnosis Of Alzheimer’s Disease

A Simple Eye Test May Aid In Diagnosis Of Alzheimer’s Disease

A new research reveals that a simple, noninvasive optical imaging system could detect signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

US scientists have developed a new eye test that detects beta-amyloid protein—the key culprit in Alzheimer’s disease. The protein forms the primary component of the amyloid plaques present in the brains of people with Alzheimer disease and is therefore considered the hallmark in the diagnosis of the disease.

The diagnostic modality is based on autofluorescent imaging of the retina using a specialized camera and state-of-the-art image processing software. The researchers enrolled 16 Alzheimer’s disease patients and age-matched controls to test the efficacy of this experimental technology.

The results demonstrated 4.7 times higher deposition of amyloid plaques in the retina of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, compared to controls. Similar results were obtained when the test was performed on deceased patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers claimed that the damage to cells in the retina due to beta-amyloid deposition correlated with the loss of specific cells in the patients’ brain. Hence, retinal scanning may provide a novel opportunity to detect Alzheimer’s disease, particularly in the earlier stages.

In light of this, retinal imaging could become a frontline modality in Alzheimer’s diagnosis in the near future, the researchers suggested.

Source: JCI Insight Journal

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