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OCTA could predict signs of Alzheimer’s within seconds

New research uses the eye as a window to the brain

05 Nov 2018 by Selina Powell

Researchers have highlighted the potential of using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) to detect signs of Alzheimer’s.

Scientists highlighted that the non-invasive imaging technique could assess an individual’s risk of developing the condition within seconds.

Duke University researchers highlighted that current techniques for detecting Alzheimer’s had limitations.

Ophthalmologist, Sharon Fekrat, observed that the project meets a large unmet need.

“It’s not possible for current techniques like a brain scan or a lumbar puncture to screen the number of patients with this disease. Almost everyone has a family member or extended family member affected by Alzheimer’s,” she said.

Dr Fekrat added that the disease needs to be detected and treated earlier.

Her research team used OCTA to compare the retinas of healthy people with Alzheimer’s patients and also patients with mild cognitive impairment.

They found that the Alzheimer’s group had retinal thinning and had lost small retinal blood vessels at the back of the eye.

Healthy study participants and those with mild cognitive impairment did not experience these changes.

The scientists presented their results at the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting (27-30 October, Chicago).

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