Home/ Science / Health/  Alzheimer's initial symptoms may appear in eyes, reveals new study

Health experts across the world are exploring how eyes may help in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease early before even the symptoms begin. The research is intended to discover the disease at an early stage and make the required changes in our lifestyle to avoid or at least reduce the intensity of the disease.

According to National Institute on Ageing, “Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks."

“Alzheimer’s disease begins in the brain decades before the first symptoms of memory loss," Alzheimer preventive neurologist Dr. Richard Isaacson told news platform CNN. He added that early detection of the disease could allow people to make the required lifestyle choices and control their “modifiable risk factors, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes."

According to neurological experts, the eyes are the window to our brain and one can directly see the nervous system by looking into the back of our eyes, the optical nerve, and the retina portion.

In the study which was published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica, health experts examined donated tissues from the retina and brain. The samples were collected over 14 years from 86 donors with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment.

Afterward, the researchers made a comparison between samples obtained from individuals who have a regular cognitive ability and those who have mild cognitive impairment or advanced Alzheimer's disease.

In people with mild cognitive impairment or advanced Alzheimer's disease, the study found significant increases in beta-amyloid, which is a key marker of Alzheimer's disease. In those with cognitive issues, the Microglial cells (responsible for repairing and maintaining other cells) declined by 80%, according to the study published on the news platform CNN.

“The findings were also apparent in people with no or minimal cognitive symptoms, which suggests these new eye tests may be well-positioned to aid in early diagnosis," Dr. Isaacson said.

Such studies will help in designing imaging techniques and diagnosing Alzheimer disease more accurately.





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Updated: 25 Mar 2023, 07:30 PM IST
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