An Israeli medical team have discovered a potential way to determine the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease by using advanced imaging techniques and a new medical device to track changes in pupil size.
Israeli eye expert Dr. Yigal Rotenstreich, a retinal researcher, says his team at Ramat Gan’s Sheba Medical Centre may have found a way to determine if people will develop Alzheimer’s disease by scanning their retinas for warning signs of the illness.
The researchers believe that procedure could potentially enable early detection of the disease, as the retina, has direct access to the brain, and is easily accessible for noninvasive imaging.
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes memory, thought and behaviour problems, and symptoms usually develop gradually over a number of years.
Part of their medical procedure includes agnatic resonance imaging (MRI) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) which takes 3D images of the eye in order to measure the parameters of the blood vessels. A special camera-device is used to measure the amount of pupil constriction in reaction to various visual stimulations.
In an interview with The Times of Israel, Rotenstreich stated that “We [The Medical Research Team] have developed a unique multi-focal device that measures the amount of pupil constriction when it is exposed to red or blue light. This allows us to test the adequate or inadequate functionality of the visual pathways in different locations of the retina”.
The study from the team have already enrolled 50 patients where they will study each retina in each eye to track down early signs of althzeimer’s and if all goes to plan then “ this could lead to the identification of unique, treatable, noninvasive, low-cost bio-markers for preclinical Alzheimer’s disease,” Rotenstreich said.