An eye exam may be the best way to detect Alzheimer's disease at an early stage.
The researchers found that in people with progressive disorder, the microscopic blood vessels located at the back of the eye lacked the density found in people with healthy brains, reports a study of Ophthalmology Retina.
"It is possible that these changes in blood vessel density in the retina reflect what is happening in the tiny blood vessels in the brain, perhaps before we can detect any changes in cognition," said Sharon Fekrat. , ophthalmologist of Duke University in a press release. . Fekrat is the lead author of the study.
Early detection of the disease is important. It is thought that Alzheimer's disease can damage the brain for years before clinical symptoms, such as memory loss, are identified.
For the Retinal Ophthalmology study, researchers performed OCTA (Optical Coherence Angiography) scans on more than 200 participants. OCTA analyzes use light waves to highlight blood flow in the retina.
"An OCTA analysis," says the release from Duke University, "could reveal changes in tiny capillaries – most of them less than half the width of a human hair – before blood vessel changes n & # 39; 39, appear on a brain scan such as an MRI or cerebral angiography, which highlights that large blood vessels.These techniques to study the brain are invasive and expensive. "
The school said that a "quick eye exam could someday allow ophthalmologists to check both your prescription glasses and your brain health."
Alzheimer's disease is not cured, but treatment can alleviate symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Progressive disorder is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
The National Institute of Aging says that healthy eating, regular physical activity, and mentally stimulating activities may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
– Douglas Perry
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