How to diagnose and prevent Alzheimer’s disease from looking at the retina?
Because the eyes are the windows to the brain, diseases which can affect the brain can also be seen in the eyes if you know how to look and potentially, therefore, can be treated.
It makes sense that the early detection and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease can help doctors provide drugs to prevent the fatal disease and also lower deposits in the eye – the same plaque that forms in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Using retinal imaging, it is possible to look at amyloid plaques deposits in the eye, similar to that which causes disease by build up in the brain to have potential drugs to treat this including Solanezumab, which shows promise as a preventing agent.
Current detection of amyloid in the brain uses PET scans and is time-consuming and expensive and is often not covered by the patient’s private medical insurance plan. However retinal imaging can be accomplished with technology that is readily available to most ophthalmologists routinely in their practice.
Early studies show that by imaging the retina, we can find out a lot more about whether the patient has early Alzheimer’s disease.
At Clinica London, the two main Medical Retinal Consultant Ophthalmologists are Mr Jaheed Khan and Professor Michel Michaelides. Jaheed is at Clinica every Monday and Michel every Thursday, as they have both have very busy NHS posts the rest of the week. They both work very closely with the Clinica London team of nurses and other doctors, to provide the best possible medical ophthalmology care.