Study finds benefit of comprehensive eye exam and retinal photography for early detection of Alzheimer's3:31 PM
At this year's Alzheimer's Association International Conference, researchers reported that a dilated fundus examination can aid in the detection of Alzheimer's. The study found a high correlation between patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's or "pre-Alzheimer's" and changes in the blood vessels when viewed with retinal photography or via live fundus examination. Thinning of retinal vessels (arterioles and venules) was noted, as well as a narrowed arteriole lumen. Vessel changes were shown to correlate with PET scan findings of amyloid plaques (a typical brain scan finding associated with Alzheimer's). Retinal findings will precede the onset of Alzheimer's dementia, and scientists are purporting that changes may be evident as early as 20 years earlier than the onset of symptoms.
|A normal retinal fundus photograph, depicting optic nerve (white circular area), retinal vessels, and macula (dark central area)|
|Sample Visual Field test, depicting right eye field loss|
|MRI depicting degenerative changes of Alzheimer's disease courtesy BBC News|