Duke University researchers develop an eye test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease
Phoebe Harkin | | Quick Read
Researchers at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA, have developed a light-scattering technique to screen for Alzheimer’s disease. The technique – angle-resolved low coherence interferometry (a/LCI) – combines imaging modalities to measure both the thickness and the texture of various layers of the retina. Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s disease can cause structural changes to the retina. Notably, thinning of the inner retinal layers can indicate a decrease in the amount of neural tissue, suggesting Alzheimer’s is present. However, other diseases – namely, glaucoma and Parkinson’s – can cause similar thinning. The researchers hopes this new measurement could be a more easily accessible biomarker for Alzheimer’s and are are now incorporating the technology into a low-cost clinical OCT scanner (currently awaiting FDA clearance). Built with 3D-printed parts, the scanner is portable and lightweight at just four pounds. We speak to Adam Wax, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Physics at Duke and the technique’s creator, to find out more.
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