Could Eye Changes Signal The Onset of Alzheimer's?

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Researchers are undertaking a study to determine whether eye tests can indicate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Emanuele Trucco, PhD, of Dundee University, Edinburgh, Scotland, and colleagues will use specially-developed computer software to analyze high-definition images of the eye.

Prior investigation suggests that changes to veins and arteries in the eye could be linked to diseases such as stroke and cardiovascular disease. The new study will see if these changes act as an early warning sign for Alzheimer's.

"If you can look into someone's eyes using an inexpensive machine and discover something which may suggest a risk of developing dementia, then that's a very interesting proposition," Trucco told the BBC. "There is the promise of early warning in a non-invasive way and there is also the fact that we even might be able to use the test to differentiate between different types of dementia."

The researchers will further develop existing software and cross-reference the data they collect with medical history information stored to determine if there is a relationship.

The researchers say this could be a non-invasive way of early detection and could potentially be used to differentiate between different types of dementia. The study will begin next April and last for three years.

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Could Eye Changes Signal The Onset of Alzheimer's?

Researchers at Dundee University are to lead a £1.1m study into whether eye tests can reveal the onset of Alzheimer's disease. A team from the university's school of computing will carry out the three-year study with colleagues in Edinburgh.

Evidence suggests changes to veins and arteries in the eye could be linked to diseases including stroke and cardiovascular disease. The team will study if this could act as an "early warning" of Alzheimer's.

The new study uses specially-developed computer software to analyze high-definition images of the eye from multiple instruments to establish whether such changes in the eye could act as an early indicator of Alzheimer's disease.

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