Alzheimer’s one day may be predicted during eye exam

Using technology similar to what is found in many eye doctors’ offices, researchers have detected evidence suggesting Alzheimer’s in older patients who had no symptoms of the disease | JAMA Ophthalmology | Story via ScienceDaily

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Significant brain damage from Alzheimer’s disease can occur years before any symptoms such as memory loss and cognitive decline appear. Scientists estimate that Alzheimer’s-related plaques can build up in the brain two decades before the onset of symptoms, so researchers have been looking for ways to detect the disease sooner.

In a new study published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology,  researchers used a noninvasive technique — called optical coherence tomography angiography — to examine the retinas in eyes of 30 study participants with an average age in the mid 70s, none of whom exhibited clinical symptoms of Alzheimer’s. One of the authors of the study says “This technique has great potential to become a screening tool that helps decide who should undergo more expensive and invasive testing for Alzheimer’s disease prior to the appearance of clinical symptoms.”

In previous studies, researchers examining the eyes of people who had died from Alzheimer’s have reported that the eyes of such patients showed signs of thinning in the center of the retina and degradation of the optic nerve.

Full story at ScienceDaily

Full reference: O’Bryhim BE et al. | Association of Preclinical Alzheimer Disease With Optical Coherence Tomographic Angiography Findings | JAMA Ophthalmology | August 23rd 2018

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