Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, to this day, is a rather complicated and complex process, broken down into several stages: doctors assess the patient’s mood and cognitive abilities, perform basic neurological tests and brain scans to assess the likelihood that the patient has this devastating disease.
American scientists have replaced such a long-term process with a fairly quick and affordable eye test, which can be done right in the doctor’s office. The test allows you to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage.
The optical scanning system can detect beta-amyloid protein in human eyes. Insoluble deposits of beta-amyloid in brain tissue constitute the main morphological feature of both Alzheimer’s disease and Down’s syndrome, senile dementia. This protein, over time, accumulates in the eye lens https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lens_(anatomy). Protein levels can be determined with a simple, non-invasive eye test. A fluorescent dye interacting with beta-amyloid is instilled into the patient’s eyes and the device shows how high the probability of having the disease is.
Using this method, it is possible to follow the course of the disease in a patient, as well as to monitor the effectiveness of various drugs during further clinical trials of new methods of treatment.
The accuracy of disease detection using an optical scanning system is about 90%, which is undoubtedly much better than using positron emission tomography.