Researchers turn to retinal imaging studies to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease

A recently published study in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring explores the potential of detecting early signs of Alzheimer’s disease using retinal imaging studies.

Conducted by a team of experts at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a set of participants underwent sectoral retinal amyloid imaging to assess their retina for any indication of retina amyloid protein.

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease resulting in cognitive deterioration, theorized to be caused by a build-up of beta-amyloid in the brain.

From the participants examined, this form of amyloid build-up was extensively detected in retinal tissues. Co-author Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui stated the following in a news release, “We also suggested a particular type of immune-modulation therapy that may combat the disease by reducing toxic proteins and harmful inflammation in the brain and, in return, enhancing a protective type of immune response that preserved the connections between neurons, which are tightly connected to cognition.”

The findings are promising and future research should focus on retinal imaging studies as a potential biomarker for early symptoms of the neurodegenerative disease.

“Future larger studies should determine retinal amyloid imaging’s potential as a biomarker of early Alzheimer’s disease,” the co-authors concluded in their publication release.

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