The tests – the Retinal Amyloid Index by NeuroVision and the Sapphire II by Cognoptix – are non-invasive tests currently in trial stages, hoping to one day help doctors decipher the presence of amyloid plaque deposits, which are known markers for Alzheimer’s.
The simple eye test detects deposits in the back of the eye to assess a person’s likelihood for developing the degenerative brain disease.
Neurologists have long believed there was a link between the amount of amyloid in the eye and amyloid in the brain, because the retina is formed from the same tissue as a brain during a foetus’s development in the womb.
Early testing would give prospective patients the chance to get treatment long before memory loss develops, and potentially stall the symptoms of Alzheimer’s significantly.
“The key for having an effective treatment for AD is early detection. You want to prevent those brain cells from being killed or dying in the first place,” Professor Keith Black, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, and co-founder of NeuroVision, told the Journal.