ROUTINE eye tests could screen people in their forties for Alzheimer’s years before symptoms appear, scientists say.
Evidence of the disease has been detected in patients showing no confusion or memory loss using a scanner used by opticians.
Routine eye tests could screen people in their forties for Alzheimer’s years before symptoms appear, scientists say[/caption]
The non-invasive Octa technique produces high-resolution 3D images of the retina, the tissue at the back of the eyeball.
A study of elderly participants found those with thinning of the retina had dangerous levels of two rogue proteins that lead to dementia.
These “plaques” of amyloid beta and tau destroy brain neurons.
The tests could revolutionise treatments of Alzheimer’s and other forms of the devastating condition that affects 850,000 in the UK.
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First author Dr Bliss O’Bryhim of the University of Washington, St Louis, said: “This has great potential to become a screening tool that helps decide who should undergo more expensive and invasive testing for Alzheimer’s.”
It could see patients given medications earlier, when they are likelier to work.
Medics currently use lumbar punctures and PET scans to find Alzheimer’s.
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