Keep your eye on Alzheimer’s
ROUTINE eye tests could help identify people in their 40s who are at risk of Alzheimer’s disease decades before their symptoms develop.
Researchers have detected evidence of the disease in patients showing no signs of memory problems or confusion with a scanner like those used by opticians. The technique – OCTA – produces 3D images of the back of the eyeball.
US scientists at Washington University in St Louis found those with thinning of the retina had dangerous levels of two rogue proteins in the brain that lead to dementia. These destroy neurons.
The team tested patients in their 70s. But one of the researchers, Professor Gregory van Stavern, said that it might be possible to use the eye test to screen people in their 40s and 50s to see if they were at risk. More testing would be needed to confirm dementia.
It could revolutionise the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia by ensuring patients were given drugs early when they were more likely to work. – Daily Mail
Dr Elmi Muller