A recent study from JAMA Ophthalmology finds that a specific type of noninvasive eye testing procedure may help assess risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
One in 10 Americans over the age 65 has Alzheimer’s, while one-third over the age of 85 have the disease. Fortunately, research now shows that eye doctors can detect small alterations in retinal blood vessels that are known to be a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease years before it begins to affect memory.
“By using a noninvasive technique known as optical coherence tomographic angiography (OCT-A), researchers looked at a variety of optical biomarkers from people with known preclinical Alzheimer’s and those without,” Dr. Mark Ruchman, CMO, Versant Health, said in a news release. “They found that people in the very early stages of the disease consistently had changes to the retina. As such, the OCT-A holds promise for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease for patients at risk, possibly before symptoms of cognitive decline appear.”
“The reality is one in every five Medicare dollars goes to someone with Alzheimer’s disease,” says Elizabeth Klunk, RN, BSN, CCM; VP Medical Management, Versant Health. “Early detection through the non-invasive OCT-A eye exam offers hope to patients and their families.”
To access the study, click here.