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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Eye Test to Detect Alzheimer's

After a trial in mice, US scientists hope that early stage of dementia could be detected with a simple eye test in the near future. Dr Lee Goldstein from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston who led the test, uses a non-invasive laser to check the lens of the eye for deposits of beta-amyloid - the protein found in the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease.
Dr Goldstein and his team envisage the test could be used to detect the disease at its earliest stages as well as to track disease progression and monitor how people respond to Alzheimer's treatments.

Currently there is no simple test to make a diagnosis of dementia and it can only be confirmed with certainty by looking at someone's brain in a post-mortem examination.

The scientists believe the technology, known as quasi-elastic light scattering, may detect the very earliest stages of amyloid deposits in the lens, even when they appear completely clear to the naked eye.

The eye test method to detect early stage of dementia will be developed further before introduced to public. If it has the same accuracy with current test used to detect dementia, of course the eye test will be a better alternative for patients, since it will be much cheaper.



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