New Retinal Scan Offers Hope for Alzheimer’s Early Detection
Thursday, August 4 2016 | 00 h 00 min | Vision Science
A University of Waterloo researcher has unveiled a new diagnostic tool for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The tool applies polarizing imaging techniques along with computer processing to potentially identify the disease well before symptoms develop.
Professor Melanie Campbell from Waterloo’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, indicates, “Widely available, inexpensive, early detection of amyloid would help researchers develop more effective treatments before the onset of symptoms.” The technology deploys polarizing imaging coupled with computer processing, and does not require dyes or more expensive diagnostic technologies, such as positron emission tomography (PET).
Professor Campbell has recently been granted more than $800,000 through a Collaborative Health Research Projects grant to build prototype instruments and start clinical testing on patients in collaboration with researchers at UBC Hospital, the Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario and Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal.
As the retina is an extension of the brain, and amyloid deposits are knows to accumulate in Alzheimer’s patients in the brain and retina, the ability to detect these through non-evasive technology by primary eye care providers offers an exciting opportunity for the professions and hope for millions of patients.
Optik Magazine reported on the possibility of a retinal test for Alzheimer’s detection in September 2015.