Eye Exams Could Diagnose Alzheimer's

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An eye exam could help diagnose Alzheimer's earlier, new research shows.

A team of scientists from Georgetown University Medical Center and the University of Hong Kong found genetically engineered mice with Alzheimer's developed thinning of the eye retina.

Degeneration of the retina may reveal degeneration of the brain linked to the disease. The retina is made from the same tissue that makes up the brain.

"The retina is an extension of the brain so it makes sense to see if the same pathologic processes found in an Alzheimer's brain are also found in the eye," Dr. R. Scott Turner, director of the Memory Disorders Program at GUMC, said.

Researchers are optimistic about the findings. They believe with the right tools, eye doctors could detect Alzheimer's on patients who are not showing signs yet.

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