Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease Through Eyes
Investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute have found out certain eye abnormalities that will support the diagnosis of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Utilizing a novel laboratory rat model of Alzheimer’s disease and imaging methods with high resolution, researchers correlated variations of these eye structures, to identify preliminary characteristics of the disorder.
Alzheimer’s disease is the main reason of dementia, which is characterized by loss of memory and a progressive decline in cognitive thinking. Up to now, greater than 26 million persons are estimated to suffer from this illness and the quantity is predicted to quadruple by 2050. Despite the sickness being described over a century in the past, medication and understanding of this disease stay limited.
The lead author of the study, Shaomei Wang, MD, PhD, and an associate professor in the Regenerative Medicine Institute and Department of Biomedical Sciences remarked, Detecting changes in the brain that indicate Alzheimer’s disease can be an extremely challenging task. “By using the eye as a window to brain activity and function, we may be able to diagnose patients sooner and give them more time to prepare for the future. Options may include earlier enrollment in clinical trials, developing support networks and dealing with any financial and legal matters.
Retinal Pigment Epithelial Layer Changes
Utilising animal models and postmortem human retinas from donors with Alzheimer’s disease, researchers found alterations in the retinal pigment epithelial layer, which harbors the supportive cells placed in the back of the eye, and in the thickness of the choroidal layer with blood vessels offering vitamins and minerals to the retina. Changes in these two regions had been detected utilizing sophisticated, modern day imaging and immunological strategies.
With high-resolution microscopic imaging and visible acuity measurements, investigators had been capable of watching tissue degeneration within the cell layer and vascular layer behind the eye, along with a decline in visual function that had been strongly associated with Alzheimer’s disorder.
According to the co-author of the study, Alexander Ljubimov, PhD, director of the Eye Program within the Regenerative Medicine Institute, Greater magnitude in these eye abnormalities may mean a greater chance of a patient having Alzheimer’s disease. We found that a rat model showed similar signs to the human ailment in the eye. If true in a larger number of humans, these findings may be used to study Alzheimer’s disease mechanisms and test potential drugs.
Although additional research is required to examine the mechanisms of those ocular changes in terms of changes in the brain, investigators hope to eventually help in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disorder via studying the eye. Cedars-Sinai had done previous studies on the eye and Alzheimer’s disease with a previous report displaying amyloid plaques, an indicator of Alzheimer’s sickness, additionally build up within the eye making use of a similar animal model of the disease.
According to Clive Svendsen, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute and a co-author on the study, It is fascinating that the eye may provide such a window to the brain and eventually predict diseases such as Alzheimer’s, although more human studies are now needed to confirm this animal work
If you want to know more on how to take care of your health the best way possible, feel free to read our other articles on this site.
Reference: Science Daily
Written By: Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna Bedia