Eye test could be early-warning system for Alzheimer’s

Posted under Uncategorized on July 24th, 2014 by Editorial Team / No Comments

Scientists are hopeful that an eye test could hold the key to detecting Alzheimer’s up to 20 years ahead of normal clinical diagnoses.

An Australian team, from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is one of four research groups to focus on the eye to identify possible biomarkers of the condition.

This approach is based on the understanding that beta-amyloid plaques form not only in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, but also in the retinas of their eyes. The eye test developed by the Australian team uses a substance containing curcumin, a brightly-coloured spice, to bind to the plaques, turning them fluorescent so they can be seen.

Every participant in the Australian study who had Alzheimer’s tested positive, while the test led to false positive results in one-fifth of those without Alzheimer’s.

Many Alzheimer’s trials fail; the failure rate is as high as 99% according to one study. Many believe this is because diagnosis happens too late for treatments to be effective.

The hope is that eye tests, and related smell-based techniques , will allow earlier diagnosis. The key benefits would include identifying people to take part in clinical trials at an early stage, when new treatments may stand a better chance of slowing or even stopping the onset of the disease.


Date of prep. January 2015                     RXUKPDGL00004t

Tags: Alzheimer's, biomarker, eye test, smell test




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