Your Retina and Alzheimer’s Disease

The Alzheimer’s Association recently reported on the connection between your retina and Alzheimer’s disease. New research from Cedars-Sinai Hospital finds that a scan of your retina can reveal early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease. This is important news as nearly 5 million Americans live with the disease. That number is expected to increase to 16 million by 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.retina and alzheimer's disease

Evidently, a buildup of toxic proteins, like those found in the brain, have been found in the retina of Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s is indicated by the accumulation of beta-amyloid “plaques” in the brain. Early study has suggested these same proteins also can build up in the eye, perhaps traveling along the optic nerve from the brain.

“The findings suggest that the retina may serve as a reliable source for Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis,” said Cedars-Sinai associate professor Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, lead author of the study, which was published in the journal JCI Insight. “One of the major advantages of analyzing the retina is the repeatability, which allows us to monitor patients and potentially the progression of their disease.”

Additionally, this non-invasive eye scan is much more affordable than the traditional, invasive brain scans.

It is great news to know that more and more research is being done on this disease. The earlier it can be detected the better it can be treated. Similarly, we recently posted a blog on how declining speech patterns may be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease. Read more about that here.

Assisted Living Services has many years of experience in caring for Alzheimer’s patients. If you need help caring for your senior loved one, please contact Assisted Living Services.