It is often said that the eye is the window to one’s soul, early data suggests that retinal photos may become that window used as an early detector of Alzheimer’s disease. The preliminary results of an Australian pilot study were unveiled in Paris yesterday at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease. Not many details were released however it appears that retinal photographs were used to determine the ratio of the diameter of the retinal arteries to the retinal veins (called the A/V ratio). The investigators then found a positive correlation between the A/V ratio and the amount of beta amyloid deposits in the brain. Beta amyloid deposit or plaques are known to exist in higher concentrations in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
If further study of this correlation confirms the author’s findings then this could lead to an inexpensive and relatively easy way of giving patients and doctors an early indicator of which patients are more likely to later develop Alzheimer’s Disease.