Jan 19, 2017

New Eye Test Could Help Detect Dementia Early

A potential medical breakthrough has been made in the detection of Alzheimer’s disease, where an eye test could see patients diagnosed and treated up to 20 years before they show any symptoms of dementia.

A new $250 000 hyperspectral camera, the first of it’s kind in Australia, has be purchased by Macquarie University in New South Wales.

The way it works is that the machine scans the eyes for the beta-amyloid protein in the brain. This particular protein, in high levels, is common amongst those who are likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

It is said that approximately 30 percent of people over the age of 60 will have amyloid levels which indicate that they may develop of Alzheimer’s disease.

This new technology could potentially be a much more simple and cost effective test for patients – current screening includes multiple doctors visits, brain scans and analysis and spinal cord fluid testing. All of which are individually very costly.

Or better yet, this eye test can happen years before symptoms appear, so people won’t have to wait for physical tell tale signs before getting diagnosed.

Researchers at Macquarie University, led by Alzheimer’s expert Professor Ralph Martins, plan on using the scanner in a trial of 200 men across the country. The trials will predominantly be held at Macquarie University’s MQ Health in Sydney and at Edith Cowan University in Perth.

During this trial, researchers aim to lower the amount of beta-amyloid protein with doses of testosterone. The testosterone will be combined with fish oil and curcumin in an attempt to increase the effectiveness.

What this new scanning technology brings is hope that early treatment for those with the pre-cursors may make a difference later in life.

Should this testing be successful and become a viable option, it could help research with finding treatments to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. If it were possible to delay the onset by five years, then that would reduce the prevalence of dementia by 30%.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Your Diet and Cancer, Seniors Nutrition Tips

Cancer treatments such radiation, chemotherapy and other tests can be hard on one’s body at any age, but in particular for the older population. Sometimes older patients that are too frail or have other medical problems may be deemed not suitable to receive anticancer treatments in the first place. Estimated number of new cancer cases... Read More

Almost 15% of all Australians have high blood pressure

Recent Heart Week data found that almost 15% of Australians had high blood pressure,  placing them at an increased risk of heart disease over the coming years. Read More

Falls put under the spotlight at the Royal Commission 

Dr Frances Batchelor, Director of Clinical Gerontology at the National Ageing Research Institute, has told the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety that there is an urgent need for more high-quality research to learn what can effectively prevent falls in residential care, especially for people living with dementia. Dr Batchelor said that while... Read More
Advertisement