Thu, Mar 30, 2017 | updated 04:22 PM IST

This new eye technology can detect Alzheimer before symptoms

Updated: Jul 12, 2016 16:09 IST

Washington D.C., July 12 (ANI): According to a new study, Alzheimer can now be detected even before the onset of symptoms with the help of new eye technology.

Rockville, Maryland, scientists have created a new technology to observe the back of the eye progression of the disease before the symptoms. Clinical trials would commence in July to test the technology in humans.

Lead author Robert Vince, PhD, of the Center for Drug Design at the University of Minnesota (UMN) said the early detection of Alzheimer's is critical for two reasons.

"First, effective treatments need to be administered well before patients show actual neurological signs. Second, since there are no available early detection techniques, drugs currently cannot be tested to determine if they are effective against early Alzheimer's disease. An early diagnostic tool like ours could help the development of drugs as well", he added.

Swati More, also of the Center for Drug Design at UMN, said 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," she said.

Swati further pointed out that 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.

"We saw changes in the retinas of Alzheimer's mice before the typical age at which neurological signs are observed. The results are close to our best-case scenario for outcomes of this project," she added.

The study is published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science journal. (ANI)

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