Looking to the Future: Detecting Alzheimer's with an Eye Drop

10:50 PM

We have read research claiming that early retinal vasculature changes could clue eye care providers in to early signs of Alzheimer's.  But what if detecting Alzheimer's was as easy as putting in an eye drop and looking at the eye?  We may be getting very close to this seemingly unlikely reality


fluorescent dye signals the presence of amyloid deposits
New research suggests the detection of Alzheimer's could be as easy as instilling a fluorescent eye drop.  Scientists have developed specific fluorescent probe molecules that attached to misfolded proteins and amyloid deposits that are classic for neurological diseases.  Their idea is to use this fluorescent probe in an eye drop, that would  fluoresce a particular color in the presence of the neurological disease like Alzheimer's or Creutzfeldt-Jakob. The tell-tale amyloid deposits found in Alzheimer's disease are present in all neurologic tissue of the affected patient, which means they would be visible in not only the brain, but the eye as well. 

The technology is only in its infancy, but is already being marketed for commercial development. 

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