Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.

 

Thomas Edison

Alzheimer’s one day may be predicted during eye exam

RATE THIS! +8
Posted in Science on 27th Aug, 2018 02:14 AM by Alex Muller

It may be possible in the future to screen patients for Alzheimer’s disease using an eye exam. Using technology similar to what is found in many eye doctors’ offices, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have detected evidence suggesting Alzheimer’s in older patients who had no symptoms.

 

Their study, involving 30 patients, is published Aug. 23 in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.

 

“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,” said the study’s first author, Bliss E. O’Bryhim, MD, PhD, a resident physician in the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences. “Our hope is to use this technique to understand who is accumulating abnormal proteins in the brain that may lead them to develop Alzheimer’s.”

 

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.

 

Physicians now use PET scans and lumbar punctures to help diagnose Alzheimer’s, but they are expensive and invasive.

 

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.

 

In the new study, the 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.

 

Those participants were patients in The Memory and Aging Project at Washington University’s Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. About half of those in the study had elevated levels of the Alzheimer’s proteins amyloid or tau as revealed by PET scans or cerebrospinal fluid, suggesting that although they didn’t have symptoms, they likely would develop Alzheimer’s. In the other subjects, PET scans and cerebrospinal fluid analyses were normal.

 

“In the patients with elevated levels of amyloid or tau, we detected significant thinning in the center of the retina,” said co-principal investigator Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD, the Paul A. Cibis Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. “All of us have a small area devoid of blood vessels in the center of our retinas that is responsible for our most precise vision. We found that this zone lacking blood vessels was significantly enlarged in people with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.”

 

The eye test used in the study shines light into the eye, allowing a doctor to measure retinal thickness, as well as the thickness of fibers in the optic nerve. A form of that test often is available in ophthalmologist’s offices.

 

For this study, however, the researchers added a new component to the more common test: angiography, which allows doctors to distinguish red blood cells from other tissue in the retina.

 

“The angiography component allows us to look at blood-flow patterns,” said the other co-principal investigator, Gregory P. Van Stavern, MD, a professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences. “In the patients whose PET scans and cerebrospinal fluid showed preclinical Alzheimer’s, the area at the center of the retina without blood vessels was significantly larger, suggesting less blood flow.”

 

Added Apte: “The retina and central nervous system are so interconnected that changes in the brain could be reflected in cells in the retina.”

 

Of the patients studied, 17 had abnormal PET scans and/or lumbar punctures, and all of them also had retinal thinning and significant areas without blood vessels in the centers of their retinas. The retinas appeared normal in the patients whose PET scans and lumbar punctures were within the typical range.

 

More studies in patients are needed to replicate the findings, Van Stavern said, but he noted that if changes detected with this eye test can be used as markers for Alzheimer’s risk, it may be possible one day to screen people as young as their 40s or 50s to see whether they are at risk for the disease.


Tags: eyehealthresearchmedicinedementiaAlzheimer’s

Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Hardware on 2018-09-25 00:45:42
    Elon Musk estimates 2028 to realize Mars Base Alpha..read more
    Posted in Business on 2018-09-23 22:27:41
    Google is bringing support for all Android apps to.....read more
    Posted in Business on 2018-09-23 22:21:19
    China increasing industrial robots by ten times to 1.8.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2018-09-20 13:37:56
    Electricity boosts crop yield by 30% while reducing.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2018-09-20 13:31:25
    DARPA funds developing Quantized Inertia into.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    In five years quantum computing will be mainstream..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Google partners with Johnson and Johnson to make lower cost.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Electron holography microscope with spatial resolution down to.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Lower cost advanced Nuclear power could dominate future US energy..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Why Hasn’t AI Mastered Language Translation?..read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me