People with Parkinson initially they seem to have an experience thinning out your retinas, which are the light-sensitive nerve cells that run along the back of the eye, the researchers reported.
This study is the first that specifically refers to the thinning of the retina with the loss of the brain cells that the dopamine, the chemical neurotransmitter that is the core of degenerative diseasesaid lead researcher Dr. Jee-Young Lee. Lee is a neurologist at the Metropolitan Government Medical Center in Seoul and the National University of Seoul in Boramae.
"We liked that even more thin was the retinathe greater the severity of the disease, "Lee said in a press release from the journal Neurology, which published the research in his online edition on 15 August.
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"These findings could mean that neurologists can use a simple eye scanner at a given moment detect Parkinson's disease in the earliest stages, before the problems begin with the movement, "Lee added.
the Parkinson It has no clear cause, but the symptoms that patients have are associated with damage to the neurons in the brain that produce dopamine, according to the Parkinson Foundation.
Parkinson is known for its incurable and progressive effects on a person's movement. Patients suffer from tremors, stiffness of the limbs, slow movement and problems with balance and walking.
The vision problems that occur in patients with Parkinson's are less known. The loss of dopamine-producing neurons In the retina it can influence the ability of the eye to process and perceive color, while motor symptoms can interfere with the movement or focus of the eyes.
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Dr. Alessandro Di Rocco, director of the Northwell Health Movement Disorders program in Great Neck, New York, said: "They can be very subtle at the beginning of the disease, but most patients experience visual symptoms, including changes in the perception of colors. blurred vision and reading problems, which can be more obvious as the disease progresses. "
A study from 2017 published in the journal Radiology reported that these changes in vision can be one early sign of Parkinson's disease, prior to the onset of motor disabilities in more than a decade.
To investigate this early track more thoroughly, Lee and his colleagues studied 49 people with an average age of 69 years who had been diagnosed Parkinson's disease a few years earlier, but they had not started taking medication.
Participants received a complete eye examination, in addition to a high-resolution eye scanner that uses light waves to capture images from each of the five layers of the retina. In addition, 28 of the patients underwent brain scans to measure the density of cells that produce dopamine in the brain.
A significant thinning of the retina had occurred in patients with Parkinson's disease, compared to a control group of 54 healthy matched people by age, the researchers found.
This thinning took place more prominently in the two inner layers of the retina. For example, in one part of the eye, the inner layer of the retina had an average thickness of 35 microns in patients with Parkinson's, compared with an average thickness of 37 microns in those who did not suffer from the disease.