Eye check-up to detect Alzheimer’s disease

An Eye Doctor may help diagnose Alzheimer’s before its symptoms

The non-invasive scan looks for changes in blood vessels in the retina - a coat of light-sensitive cells at the back of the brain.

And they showed that they can distinguish between people with Alzheimer's and those with only mild cognitive impairment.

"The company's Australian arm, IBM Research, Australia, undertook a research and published its findings in journal Scientific Reports".

One of the researchers used a non-invasive technology called optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). It enables physicians to see the smallest blood vessels in the back of the eye that are smaller than the width of a human hair.

"While a wide range of other proposed blood tests for Alzheimer's disease are being developed, this is the first study to use a machine learning approach to identify sets of proteins in blood that are predictive of a biomarker in spinal fluid", notes the researcher for IBM's genomics research team.

The differences seen were statistically significant after adjusting for factors such as age, sex and education.

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In an online publication obtained on Monday, Goudey explained that Alzheimer has been diagnosed to be the cause of dementia - a decline in thinking and person's pattern of behaviour.

The typical process for diagnosing Alzheimer's isn't a fun one.

The peptide known as amyloid-beta has been proven to change prior to visible memory-related issues, and examination of the concentration of the amyloid-beta in the spinal fluid can provide an indication of the risk of Alzheimer's disease years before it can occur. That finding spurred a new study of more than 200 people.

It would also give patients time to plan for the future with their families - while they still have their faculties, said the USA team.

"It's not possible for current techniques like a brain scan or lumbar puncture to screen the number of patients with this disease".

"It's possible that these changes in blood vessel density in the retina could mirror what's going on in the tiny blood vessels in the brain, perhaps before we are able to detect any changes in cognition". Our work is not done. "Whether that's through retinal imaging, blood biomarkers or minor changes in speech, we envision a future in which health professionals have a wide array of easily accessible data available to more clearly identify and track the onset and acceleration of these conditions", Goudey added.

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