Current tests for Alzheimer’s disease are invasive and can expose patients to radiation or painful lumbar punctures. However, new studies featuring retinal imaging technology are showing positive results in Alzheimer’s prediction. Surprisingly accurate, these results were obtained with non-invasive techniques and may even be able to predict the disease as much as 15 to 20 years before physical symptoms appear, leaving more options for possible treatments.
Unlike the rest of the eye’s structure, the retina is part of the central nervous system and shares some common traits with the brain. Plaques that form after Alzheimer’s develops appear in the retina long before they accumulate in the brain. By using a specialized dye formulated from tumeric, scientists at Cedars-Sinai were able to fluoresce the plaques and view them with retinal imaging technology.
With this method, 100 percent of Alzheimer’s patients tested positive and 85 percent of those who did not have the disease tested negative. The first phase of this study will be completed later this fall and indications are very positive.
One of the major benefits of predicting Alzheimer’s with retinal imaging is the ability to begin treatment sooner to slow the progression of the disease. The earlier a patient is able to begin the treatment, the more effective it will be. The second benefit is that the test is non-invasive and can be repeated regularly to monitor the progression of the disease.
As a leader in retinal imaging technology, Optos is very happy to share this exciting development with you. Our ultra-widefield imaging devices can help you detect and monitor diseases in your patients much sooner than conventional technologies. Contact us today to learn how partnering with us and employing our imaging technology can help your practice.
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