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Eye test may help diagnose Alzheimer's disease, study concludes

Category: General Health

According to a new study, a simple eye test may be able to help diagnose Alzheimer's disease before it fully develops.

Researchers at the University College London (UCL) have reportedly developed a technique that identifies nerve cell damage in the retina of the eye which they believe correlates to damage to the brain, according to the Telegraph.

"Few people realize that the retina is a direct, albeit thin, extension of the brain," said Professor Francesca Cordeiro, lead author at the University College London.

The test is a non-invasive procedure involving eye drops and a photograph taken with an infrared camera. Researchers believe that the technique will allow brain cell death to be measured in real time and diagnosis of the disease to be made much earlier.

"Early diagnosis of Alzheimer's is critical in order to stop and reverse the cell death before it is too late," said Cordeiro. "Once brains cells are dead there is no way to revive them."

The technique has been successfully trialed on rats and mice and will be tested on humans in the coming year.

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