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Alzheimer's disease



CHICAGO, Oct. 28, 2018 / PRNewswire / – Results from two studies showing a new, non-invasive imaging device. Alzheimer's disease in a matter of seconds. The researchers show that patients with Alzheimer's disease are altered in the retina at the back of the eye. Even patients who have a family history of Alzheimer's have no symptoms. And they showed that they can distinguish between Alzheimer's and those with only mild cognitive impairment. Results from these studies are being presented at AAO 2018, the 122nd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

A new child of precise and non-invasive imaging called optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) has assisted much of the recent research on Alzheimer's. It enables physicians to see the smallest veins in the back of the eye, including the red blood cells moving through the retina.

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Because the retina is connected to the brain by way of the optic nerve, researchers believe that the deterioration in the retina and its blood vessels into the disease process.

Diagnosing Alzheimer's is a currently a challenge. Brain scans are expensive and spinal taps can be harmful. Instead, the disease is often diagnosed through memory tests or observational behavior changes. By the time these changes are noticed, the disease is advanced. Even though there is no cure, early diagnosis is critical as future treatments are likely to be effective when given early. Early diagnosis would therefore give patients and their families time to plan for the future.

The goal of Alzheimer's at the earliest signs.

Researchers at Duke University uses OCT to compare the retinas of Alzheimer's patients with those with mild cognitive impairment, as well as healthy people. They found that the Alzheimer's group had loss of small retinal blood vessels at the back of the eye and that a specific layer of the retina was thinner. Even people with mild cognitive impairment did not show these changes.

Sharon Fekrat, MD, professor of Ophthalmology at Duke, along with colleague Dilraj Grewal M.D., Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Duke, and their research team expect their work to have a positive impact on patient's lives.


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