Eye Scans Could Detect Alzheimer's, New Study Suggests

Eye Scans Could Detect Alzheimer's, New Study Suggests

A recent American study reveals a connection between plaque in the retina and plaque in the brain. With a bit more research, doctors around the world could start using this screening method to detect early signs of Alzheimer's disease.

This study took place at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. Neuroscientists examined the amount of amyloid plaque at the back of patients' eyes and then measured how much plaque was in their brains. Researchers found that people with higher amounts of plaque behind their retinas had a greater risk of developing plaque in the brain.

Study authors say that these retina scans are cheap and noninvasive strategies doctors could use to detect early warning signs of this memory-robbing disease. Also, tracking the plaque behind the retina is an easy way for doctors to keep tabs on a patient's mental health over years. The researchers detailed exactly where to look in the retina to see the plaque buildup in their study.

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai drew on a 2010 study into brain plaque buildup for their own research. This earlier study demonstrated how brain plaque could be detected at least 20 years before psychological symptoms of Alzheimer's appeared. This earlier study also looked at various eye scans from both Alzheimer's patients and healthy people.

Of course, the medical establishment will need more research before it puts this test into practice. However, most of the neuroscientists who've seen this study say the results are extremely promising for the future of Alzheimer's detection and care.

Unfortunately, Alzheimer's is becoming increasingly common in many industrialized nations. Although no one knows the exact cause for this rapid rise in Alzheimer's, some of the major theories include heavy metal toxicity, an increasingly aging population, and poor nutrition.

A few common symptoms of Alzheimer's include confusion, severe mood swings, garbled speech, and paranoia. The majority of Alzheimer's patients are over the age of 60.

While there's no cure for Alzheimer's at the moment, there are many strategies doctors can use to reduce the symptoms. Doctors can prescribe various cognition-enhancing medications as well as recommend healthier diets to promote ideal brain function.

The best ways to prevent Alzheimer's from developing in your brain is to eat a healthy diet, take high-quality nutritional supplements, do routine heavy metal detoxes, and exercise regularly. Some of the best supplements to take include a B vitamin complex, iodine, vitamin C, and garlic extract.

The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is a non-profit hospital that focuses on the latest in biomedical technology. In addition to treating hundreds of patients, Cedars-Sinai trains dozens of graduate students in medical specialties like gene therapy, neurology, and surgery. Founded in 1902, this hospital is located at 8700 Beverly Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

Anyone interested in reading this full study can find it in the most recent edition of Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight. The title of this study is, "Retinal amyloid pathology and proof-of-concept imaging trial in Alzheimer's disease."

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