Thursday, 21 March, 2019

The Eyes Could Be The Window To Alzheimer's Disease, New Study Finds

The Eyes Could Be The Window To Alzheimer's Disease, New Study Finds Alzheimer's in focus - how a simple eye test can predict onset of disease
Ben Pena | 14 March, 2019, 08:11

In a research conducted by Ben Goudey, a researcher at the Genomics Research Team of IBM Research, and his team at IBM Research- Australia it is found that machine learning has been utilized to identify a set of proteins in the blood that can predict the concentration of the biomarker amyloid-beta (amyloid-β) in spinal fluid, which can help predict the risk of Alzheimer's disease long before it gets detected, because Alzheimer's usually gets detected in the later stages. Since the retina is considered an "extension" of the brain because it sends signals to the optic nerve to create visual images, they wanted to see if similar blood vessel changes would occur in the eye.

However, in the eyes of 39 people with Alzheimer's disease, the web was less dense and even sparse in places.

IBM also claims that amid the wide range of other proposed blood tests for Alzheimer's disease that are now being developed, this is the first study to use machine learning to identify sets of proteins in the blood that are predictive of a biomarker in spinal fluid.

The test involved a machine that performed optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA), a non-invasive procedure that only takes a few minutes. "Now we can look at blood vessels that are at the level of capillaries in the different layers of the retina".

Ophthalmologist and senior author Sharon Fekrat, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology at Duke, along with lead author Dilraj Grewal, M.D., Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Duke, expect that their work may one day have a positive impact on patients' lives.

Diagnosing Alzheimer's is a challenge.

Nine dead, including five children, in Brazil shooting; 17 others also shot
Doria said the school had been evacuated and police were inspecting what appeared to be possible explosives left by the shooters. When I realized they were gunshots, I stayed there. "It didn't take long until police arrived".

One of the main reasons new drugs have been ineffective so far is they are administered too late to trial patients - when the disease is advanced.

"It can't be used to diagnose Alzheimer's disease quite yet".

"Although there is now no single test that can accurately give an Alzheimer's diagnosis, brain scans, cognitive assessments and spinal fluid tests can all reveal clues to the disease". But such techniques to study the brain are invasive and costly.

"The retina has a dense spider web of blood vessels, and we were interested in the density of these blood vessels".

Upwards of 5.5 million Americans are estimated to possibly have the brain wasting disease, according to NIH, and these numbers will continue to increase in years to come if no cure is found, projections suggest an impending and staggering global impact of dementia and neurodegenerative diseases.

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