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A detail in your eye can tell us whether or not you're in your right mind

A detail in your eye can tell us whether or not you’re in your right mind

Alzheimer, Neurodegenerative disease Characterized by progressive loss of memory and some cognitive functions, it affected 50 million people worldwide in 2015. According to the EstimatesAnd 152 million people are expected to suffer from it by 2050. There is currently no reliable treatment or even slowing it down. However, the hidden signsAlzheimer’s disease It could exist much earlier.

a new scientific research It is suggested that retinal thinning in middle age is related to cognitive performance. The researchers even argued that their results suggested that one day a simple eye test could help predict a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

“As we are unable to treat advanced Alzheimer’s disease and its global prevalence is increasing, it is really important to be able to identify people in the preclinical stage and possibly have the opportunity to intervene.”says Ashley Barrett-Young, a health researcher at the University of Otago in New Zealand, who led the study.

The eye, a window to the brain

This is not the first time thatEye Taught as a key to health. Through the retina, the brain It can be analyzed and provide access to a lot of information. More than a decade ago, researchers found beta-amyloid proteins, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, in the retina of people with the disease. These patients also had a thinner retina.

Another study, conducted in 2018, revealed close links between this disease and the three eye diseases. While all of these links are intriguing, the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease are many and varied.

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The new study analyzed data from Dunedin Experience. The latter followed the lives of more than 1,000 children born in the early 1970s in New Zealand. Fifty years later, Ashley Barrett-Young and her colleagues selected a subset of 865 adults who had an eye exam — an examination that allows early diagnosis of certain diseases — at age 45 as well as neuropsychological testing in childhood and into adulthood as part of the Dunedin trial.

Their analysis showed that participants with thinner retinal layers failed more on tests of cognitive performance. However, no association was found between retinal thinning and the general decline in cognitive performance that may be associated with neurodegenerative disease. Retinal thinning at age 45 is associated with a reduced speed of brain processing, not necessarily Alzheimer’s disease – in other words, it will simply be a sign of general aging.

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“The results suggest that retinal thickness may be an indicator of overall brain health.”, says Ashley Barrett-Young. It is not yet known whether eye tests will be able to pre-diagnose complex diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. However, previous studies have shown that retinal thinning may precede cognitive decline and dementia diagnosis. “In the future, these findings could lead to the use of artificial intelligence to perform tests and determine the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.”The researcher concludes.