Eye examination may indicate Alzheimer's disease before the symptoms appear

Alzheimer's is still a non-curable condition and early treatment of the disease is considered one of the most important points to prolong the memory and quality of life of the patient. A new finding, made by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine (US), can help enormously.

In a study published this week in the journal JAMA ophthalmology, the scientists revealed that one simple eye examination, performed in some of the clinics, can be an indication of Alzheimer's disease in people who are not yet showing the symptoms of the disease, anticipating their treatment and delaying brain damage.

Researchers had reported this in previous studies people with Alzheimer's disease had signs of change in the middle of the retina and optic nerve. In the scientific work at Washington University, physicians examined the eyes of 30 elderly people in the 70s who did not yet show the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease through angiography with optical coherence tomography (OCT) – which provides the blood vessels of the retina and optic nerve.

All volunteers were Research center for Alzheimer's disease of the knight and even without signs of the problem, 17 of them had previous beta-amyloid or high-level TAU tests in the brain – a factor associated with degenerative disease. Therefore, they had great potential to develop neurodegenerative malady, which the researchers & # 39; Preclinical Alzheimer & # 39; called.

"We all have a small area without blood vessels in the center of our retina. We discovered that this region increased significantly in the 17 elderly with preclinical Alzheimer's disease"said Paul A. Cibis, one of the authors of the study: the change in the eye was not demonstrated in the 13 patients who did not have a high beta-amyloid or TAU level.

The researchers point out that it is necessary to replicate the test on a larger number of people to confirm the finding. However, they believe that if these eye changes are really a sign of Alzheimer's, will help a lot in identifying the risk of dementia in people aged 40 or 50 and anticipate their treatment at a time when the brain has not suffered much damage.

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