Thursday, March 14, 2019

Knowing Earlier Makes Big Difference

A newly published study adds weight to the growing body of evidence suggesting cognitive decline can be tracked through changes in the eye. (Credit: Wavebreakmedia/Depositphotos)

A Duke University research study... "published in the journal Ophthalmology Retina, has reported that statistically significant differences can be identified in the retinas of patients with Alzheimer's disease. The finding paves the way for a future where the disease could be diagnosed from a simple eye scan before major symptoms appear."

The study was reported in a New Atlas article,  Alzheimer's eye test could catch the disease before symptoms appear, written by Rich Haridy and posted 11 March 2019.

"...the results were satisfyingly clear, with the Alzheimer's subjects displaying significantly reduced macular vessel density and perfusion density in comparison to both the healthy control and the MCI subjects. This suggests that not only could the OCTA imaging serve as an easy diagnostic test that can detect Alzheimer's disease, but further work to better home in on the how different stages of retinal degeneration correlate with neurodegeneration may lead to a quick eye test that identifies patients at the very earliest stages of cognitive decline, before the symptoms become clinically evident."

"Ultimately, the goal would be to use this technology to detect Alzheimer's early, before symptoms of memory loss are evident, and be able to monitor these changes over time in participants of clinical trials studying new Alzheimer's treatments," says Fekrat."

"This kind of eye scan, tracking thinning in the retina, is also being investigated as an early detection tool to catch patients with Parkinson's disease before major symptoms present. The research is still in its nascent stages, and more work is needed before it can be widely rolled out, but the implications are exciting. A quick, non-invasive eye examination that can be routinely rolled out to identify those at risk of neurodegeneration before it takes hold would allow a huge range of preventative treatments to be deployed."

Here's the whole story...

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