According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells. This damage results in the loss of memory, thinking, and language skills, and also causes behavioral changes.
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that there are 5.2 million people in the United States that suffer from this disorder.
Using the Eyes to Detect Alzheimer’s Disease
Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center are getting closer to a new diagnostic option: non-invasive retinal eye scans.
There is evidence that people with Alzheimer’s Disease often develop beta-amyloid plaques in areas of the brain responsible for memory. In addition, research also shows that these plaques can appear years before a patient experiences Alzheimer’s symptoms.
While other researchers have examined how these plaques form in the brain, the doctors at Cedars-Sinai have found that beta-amyloid plaques can also build up in the retina in the back of the eye.
Since the eye is part of the central nervous system, these findings suggest that this procedure may lead to a quick, inexpensive and pain-free way to detect Alzheimer’s Disease.
Quicker Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s
A faster way to detect Alzheimer’s Disease would be a potential boon for this debilitating condition. Once a patient is diagnosed, aggressive treatments for memory loss, behavioral changes, and sleep issues can all be initiated.