Alzheimer’s disease could be detected from a routine eye test

United States – University of Minnesota Center for Drug Design’s latest study suggests that it could be possible to detect Alzheimer’s disease by conducting a routine eye examination.

For those who are not familiar, Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder causing sudden memory loss which gradually deteriorates to severe levels, rendering patients unable to even recall essential information, such as their names or which year we are in.

The study, which was published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, in June, suggests that by conducting an ordinary eye test, it is possible for doctors to detect early stages of the notorious disease.

More specifically, the said test is fundamentally based on examining the retinas, which is the light-sensitive tissue that coats the back of our eyes, through a high-tech camera.

Since the retina bears a striking resemblance with the brain’s reaction to Alzheimer, doctors believe they can make use of it thus determining whether an individual has been affected by the disease or not.

Furthermore, accessing the brain to determine the existence of the disease is a very delicate and risky procedure, whereas examining one’s eyes from the distance appears to be a less complicated solution.

As of now, a definitive diagnosis for Alzheimer does not exist, and it can only be detected through symptoms that the patient displays.

Furthermore, Alzheimer is detectable after it has been formed within the patient’s organism, therefore being able to identify the disease in its early stages will certainly help doctors to terminate it before becoming too severe to be addressed.

The aforementioned test had been conducted in mice’s retinas, though, thanks to the promising results, doctors will test the new method in patients with and without Alzheimer, hoping it is equally effective for our own species as well.

Doctors concluded the study by mentioning that,

Timely diagnosis of AD is paramount for proper treatment and evaluation of the latter’s efficacy. We expect this technology to prove suitable for translation into a human diagnostic tool. Such developmental efforts are underway.

On a less relevant note, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America latest data reports that approximately 5.1 million U.S. citizens could be suffering from the disease in 2016.

Via: The New York Observer