New Eye Tests Could Help in Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease

New Eye Tests Could Help in Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease

The eyes are not only a window to the soul, but also to the brain. It is possible to detect early signs of Alzheimer‘s disease before the disease’s symptoms begin to manifest themselves if one examines the back of the eye, specifically the optic nerve and the retina.

Alzheimer’s disease begins in the brain decades before memory loss symptoms appear, which is why early diagnosis is so important. People are able to make changes to their lifestyles to control modifiable risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes if they are diagnosed with these conditions at an early stage.

Recent research looked at the retinal and brain tissue of 86 individuals with varying degrees of mental decline to investigate how early signs of cognitive decline can be identified. A significant increase in beta-amyloid was found in people with Alzheimer’s disease and early cognitive decline, according to a study that made a comparison between samples obtained from donors with normal cognitive function and those obtained from donors with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

Microglial cells also decreased by 80% in those with cognitive issues, and markers of inflammation were found, indicating that there may be a potential marker for the progression of the disease. The degree of tissue atrophy and inflammation present in cells located in the extreme periphery of the retina proved to be the best indicators of cognitive status.

The findings point to the possibility that new eye tests could help in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, which could then lead to the development of imaging techniques that would enable non-invasive monitoring of the progression of the disease by looking through the eye.

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease at an earlier stage may lead to more opportunities to lead a healthy lifestyle and improved control of risk factors that are modifiable. The disease could be diagnosed earlier and with greater accuracy using new eye tests, which would not require any invasive procedures and would be easily accessible.

Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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