In the journal of clinical insight, researchers have found that performing retinal scans can pick up amyloid plaques which cause Alzheimer’s in the brain. Getting a yearly eye test can be a way to pick up early stages of Alzheimer’s and early intervention will be helpful to caregivers and family members. Researchers may have brought up a step closer that can detect a hallmark of the disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, affecting more than 40 million people worldwide. And yet, finding a cure is something that still eludes researchers today. It includes difficulty sleeping, disturbed memory, drastic mood changes and an increase in confusion.
The Connection between Alzheimer’s and Eyesight
Your eyes may give doctors a window into one of the most difficult diseases to diagnose and doctors may have a peek at what the retina reveals about the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Eye tests may soon become the simplest and cheapest way to establish a precise diagnosis of Alzheimer’s eyes. Our eyes, because of their neurons are in some way an extension of the brain. One of the first detectable signs of Alzheimer’s is the accumulation of beta-amyloid protein aggregates in the brain. These aggregates begin to form 15 to 20 years prior to the onset of the first symptoms of the disease. And they can be detected through brain imaging, which is a costly method. A retina examination is simpler to perform and several research groups worldwide are currently testing this approach. Some researchers evaluated the thickness of the retina. They discovered that people who have memory problems had a thinner retina, compared to those without memory problem.
5 Areas of Visual Deficit
Alzheimer’s effect on eyes reveals five main areas of visual deficit that result in inaccurate perception.
- Lesser Potential to Detect MotionSome patients with Alzheimer’s eyes are incompetent to detect movement. They don’t see the world as an ongoing video like most people do and instead see them as still photos. This perception of the world can cause patients with Alzheimer’s eyes feel even more lost even in familiar surroundings. They may face difficulty following a moving object which can impact the ability to comfortably watch television or perform an activity that requires fast motion.
- Loss of Depth PerceptionPatients have trouble judging how far they are from an object. For example, this comes into play when someone is trying to sit down on a chair behind them and they can’t figure out how far they are from the object and they miss the chair and fall. And that can be a serious injury. They also have trouble of understanding whether or not an object is part of a surface or a separate object.
- Loss of Peripheral visionPeople by mid Alzheimer’s disease have a 12-inch field of vision where they have lost everything on the top and on the sides, as well as the bottom.
- Need for High Color ContrastPatients with Alzheimer’s eyes need objects of high color contrast. In order to pick out one object from another, they need to be of strongly different colors. For example, a white plate on a dark blue background on a table. A cup that has a strong color and is different from the liquid that’s in it would really help patients be more independent for longer.
Schedule an appointment with a trusted Ophthalmologist in Fresno today, to pick up early signs of Alzheimer’s eyes in your loved one.
Aaron Barriga is the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs to inform readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care, especially LASIK.