spot_img

An Eye Scan May Detect Early Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Two new studies suggest signs of the disease are visible in the eyes before symptoms appear

Results from two studies show that a new, non-invasive imaging device can see signs of Alzheimer’s disease in a matter of seconds. The researchers show that the small blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye are altered in patients with Alzheimer’s. Even patients who have a family history of Alzheimer’s but have no symptoms show these telltale signs. And they showed that they can distinguish between people with Alzheimer’s and those with only mild cognitive impairment. Results from these studies are being presented at AAO 2018, the 122ndAnnual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

A new kind of precise and non-invasive imaging called optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) has assisted much of the recent research on the eye’s connection with Alzheimer’s. It enables physicians to see the smallest veins in the back of the eye, including the red blood cells moving through the retina.

Because the retina is connected to the brain by way of the optic nerve, researchers believe that the deterioration in the retina and its blood vessels may mirror the changes going on in the blood vessels and structures in the brain, thereby offering a window into the disease process.

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s is a currently a challenge. Some techniques can detect signs of the disease but are impractical for screening millions of people: Brain scans are expensive and spinal taps can be harmful. Instead, the disease is often diagnosed through memory tests or observing behavior changes. By the time these changes are noticed, the disease is advanced. Even though there is no cure, early diagnosis is critical as future treatments are likely to be most effective when given early. Early diagnosis would also give patients and their families time to plan for the future.

The goal of this latest research is to find a quick, inexpensive way to detect Alzheimer’s at the earliest signs.

Researchers at Duke University used OCTA to compare the retinas of Alzheimer’s patients with those of people with mild cognitive impairment, as well as healthy people. They found that the Alzheimer’s group had loss of small retinal blood vessels at the back of the eye and that a specific layer of the retina was thinner. Even people with mild cognitive impairment did not show these changes.

Ophthalmologist and lead author Sharon Fekrat, M.D., professor of Ophthalmology at Duke, along with colleague Dilraj Grewal M.D., associate professor of Ophthalmology at Duke, and their research team expect that their work will have a positive impact on patient’s lives.

“This project meets a huge unmet need,” Dr. Fekrat said. “It’s not possible for current techniques like a brain scan or lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to screen the number of patients with this disease. Almost everyone has a family member or extended family affected by Alzheimer’s. We need to detect the disease earlier and introduce treatments earlier.”

Because genes play a significant role in how Alzheimer’s disease begins and progresses, another team of researchers from Sheba Medical Center in Israel examined 400 people who had a family history of the disease but showed no symptoms themselves. They compared their retina and brain scans with those who have no family history of Alzheimer’s.

They found that the inner layer of the retina is thinner in people with a family history. The brain scan showed that their hippocampus, an area of the brain that’s first affected by the disease, had already begun to shrink. Both factors, a thinner inner retina layer and smaller hippocampus, were associated with scoring worse on a cognitive function test.

“A brain scan can detect Alzheimer’s when the disease is well beyond a treatable phase,” said lead researcher Ygal Rotenstreich M.D., an ophthalmologist at the Goldschleger Eye Institute at Sheba Medical Center. “We need treatment intervention sooner. These patients are at such high-risk.”




I want to grow my online platform to create awareness about ethical consumerism, environmentalism, and the plant-based lifestyle. My main mission is to share information that empowers people to make better choices and create a VEG NEW WORLD :)


Your support is vital and is helping me share the collected information with thousands of readers and viewers. I try to deliver exclusive stories and relevant content in a challenging commercial environment. Your contribution helps me to cover the costs that my service requires. Please consider contributing (no matter how small) to keep the information flowing so you can remain informed and have life changing interviews and stories to share.

spot_img

Subscribe

Related articles

Remy Robotics exits stealth mode with launch of third autonomous robotic kitchen

  Pioneer in robot-enabled delivery-only restaurants expands its reach and...

GUUD Modern Muesli Launches Functional Cereal Line

New ‘Fuel’ Products Take Breakfast to the Next Level GUUD,...

Yoga guru offers free guided meditation for World Meditation Day

  Available online for participants across the globe, or in-person...

Fleur & Bee Releases Beginner-Friendly Retinol Moisturizer

Clean skincare brand Fleur & Bee officially debuts its...
spot_img
Betty Tűndikhttps://vegnew.world
Hi everyone! Nice to e-meet you! Here are a few things you should know about me. I am a conscientious, open-minded, adaptable to new experiences, and ambitious Business Development Manager with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics - Banking, Finance, and Accountancy. Through my studies, I've also obtained many naturopathic and nutrition degrees as well. Part-time jobs have added marketing, network marketing, event management, and store management skills to my experience throughout my career. Throughout my career, I have also been a Hotel Manager and owned a Bar/Restaurant & Internet Cafe. My online marketing and social media interactivity experience was gained when I and my husband started a business with an online/organic webshop & healthy lifestyle consultancy. I've improved my English at Cambridge Academy of English - 2003, in Cambridge. I live a conscious lifestyle, and try to protect the ecosystem. Animal lover and capable of helping others without judgment or negative reactions, this is thanked my knowledge in holistic therapies and the naturopathy courses I've followed. I cannot leave for my spiritual growth and the continuous development in alternative and holistic therapies, so I'm learning at Kyron School of New Consciousness, receiving a Bio Energo-therapist diploma. Thanks to all my experiences I've decided to venture into publishing and writing, while also continuing to learn many new things daily. I hope you enjoy reading my hand-picked news and check back for my weekly articles.