Using an ultrasensitive scanning technique, researchers can detect signs of Alzheimer's disease in the tiny blood vessels at the back of the eye, according to a new report.
Duke University reseachers found that these small retinal blood vessels were altered in patients with Alzheimer's disease, but in not in those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or those with no signs of mental decline.
"Among the folks who had Alzheimer's there was a significant reduction in the density of the blood vessels in the superficial layer of the retina compared to controls and those with mild cognitive impairment," said Dr. Dilrag Grewal, an associate professor of ophthalmology at the Duke Eye Center. "We also found a reduction in the thickness of (of a specific layer of the retina) in Alzheimer's patients compared to controls and those with mild cognitive impairment."
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