Retina as a Biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease?
In the case of Alzheimer’s, early diagnosis is extremely important, as there is currently no cure but only a delay of the disease progression can be achieved. According to a recent study, the measurement of the thickness and the Texture of the various layers of the retina may be used, apparently, for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.
In the current investigation, the research group of Professor Adam Wax of Duke University, the structure of the network layers of the skin as a potential Biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease identified that could give early evidence of the development of the disease. The results of the study were published in the English scientific journal “Scientific Reports”.
Newly developed device is a combination of two measurements
Researchers at the Duke University, it is possible to develop a new imaging device, which both the thickness and the Texture of the different layers of the retina can be measured in the fundus of the eye. Two different types of measurement were combined.
The results of a new Screening device?
“Previous research have skin a thinning of the network in Alzheimer’s patients, but by Adding a light scattering technique for the measurement we have found that the nerve fiber layer of the retina is also rough and disordered,” says the study’s author, Professor Adam Wax of Duke University in a press release. The researchers hope that these findings can be used to develop a simple and inexpensive Screening device for Alzheimer’s, which is not only in doctor’s offices, but also in pharmacies can be used.
Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease a challenge
Currently, diagnosis of Alzheimer’s be disease, when a Person begins to symptoms of cognitive reduction to show for it. Even then, Alzheimer’s disease, however, only expensive MRI and PET studies is definitely as a cause to demonstrate. Biomarkers, which can be used as early warning signs for the disease are sought urgently.
Alzheimer’s can cause structural changes in the retina
Such potential biomarkers are found in the retina, which is literally an extension of the brain and part of the Central nervous system, according to the research team. Previous research work have already shown that Alzheimer’s disease may cause structural changes of the retina, in particular a thinning of the inner retinal layers.
How the retina in Alzheimer’s disease indicate can
“The retina can offer an easy access to the brain, and thinning can indicate a decrease in the amount of neuralem tissue, which may mean that Alzheimer’s is present,” explains Professor Wax. But other diseases, such as glaucoma and Parkinson’s disease can contribute to skin of a dilution of the network. And it results threaten to inconsistent test due to the differences in measurements with different devices or by the way they are used by researchers.
The study was conducted in mice
In the current investigation, it has now been found that the top layer of the neurons in the retina of mice with Alzheimer’s, a change in its structural Texture. In combination with data on the changes in the thickness of this layer could be resulting in a relatively easily measurable Biomarker for Alzheimer’s derived, report the researchers.
Combination of measurements is a key innovation
The new approach is based on a measurement of the roughness and Texture of the nerve fiber layer of the inner retina. This can provide a quick and direct way to detect structural changes caused by Alzheimer’s disease and as a Biomarker of the disease is available, report the researchers. Through the combination of two different measurements, both information about the thickness as well as the structure of each retinal layer could be obtained. This is a real key to innovation.
Earlier Intervention possible?
Through the identification of early signs of neurodegenerative diseases could enter to be helped to the people, maybe, quickly in an early intervention program, before it is finally too late, says the research group. Especially in the case of Alzheimer’s, it is very important, as early as possible and take action against the disease, the quality of life of the affected people to maintain and slow down the progress of the disease as much as possible. (as)