They say that the eyes are the window of the soul. But a new study suggests that our eyes may also hold the key to unlocking early detection of one our most debilitating neurological disorders – Alzheimer’s Disease.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota used technology to discover early signs of the condition in the retinas of mice, and they’re hopeful the same could be found in humans.
The simple, noninvasive test involves examining retinas, the light-sensitive tissue that coats the back of eyes, through a camera. The retina and brain undergo similar changes due to Alzheimer’s, but the retina is much easier to see since it’s more accessible.
The study, recently published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. indicates the eye-scan technique may be able to detect Alzheimer’s disease before major symptoms appear.
The University of Minnesota (UMN) put together a short video on the research and the intriguing results. Click here or on the picture below to watch it.
Human testing will begin later this month and, according to ScienceDaily.com, looking through the eye to see the brain is a key advantage of the new technology. “The retina of the eye is not just ‘connected’ to the brain — it is part of the central nervous system,” said author Swati More, PhD, also of the Center for Drug Design at UMN. While the brain and retina undergo similar changes due to Alzheimer’s disease, “unlike the brain, the retina is easily accessible to us, making changes in the retina easier to observe.”
United Press International (UPI) is reporting that researchers hope the upcoming clinical trials will provide an inexpensive diagnosis method which could lead to treatment of the condition, rather than just managing its symptoms.
In order to treat the disease, Dr. Robert Vince, director of the Center for Drug Design, said therapy would need to be administered before patients have signs of the disease — and until now the possibility for testing the efficacy of a treatment was impossible because there has been no diagnostic tool to measure its effects.
This potentially groundbreaking discovery may finally allow doctors to confront a disease that was once believed to be undetectable until it was too late. Let us know your thoughts on this new report. Bringing you the latest health innovations and listening to what you think about them – is just one of the many ways we are working to one day make Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!