Alzheimer's disease is a devastating neurodegenerative disease resulting in dementia. The pathological hallmarks are hyperphosphorylated tau and amyloid protein deposits. Current ways to diagnose Alzheimers can be challeneging and expensive with brain scans and spinal taps. However, recent research is finding that using non invasive retinal imaging can determine early signs of Alzheimers disease. Autofluorescence imaging is a great tool for optometrists and ophthalmologists to monitor for ocular disease progression and amyloid protein deposits.
It was found that individuals with Alzheimers had a loss of small retinal vessels and a thinner inner retinal layer. Although there are currently no treatments for Alzheimers, early intervention can slow the progression and give families time to plan for the future. To learn more about this retinal scan, ask your optometrist.