New eye test for detecting Alzheimer’s disease could be on its way

Researchers from the University of Dundee are set to explore how a simple eye test could be used to detect early signs of dementia.

Working in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, a team at Dundee have developed software which analyses high definition images of the eye, looking for physiological changes which may be associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The software will be used to analyse thousands of images, along with medical histories, and measure a number of small changes in ocular blood vessels – such as length, width, thickness and angle of branching – which might indicate important changes in the brain, but which would be too time intensive to record by hand.
 
Emanuel Trucco, Professor of computational vision at the University of Dundee and project coordinator, said: “There is the promise of early warning in a non-invasive way and there is also the fact that we might even be able to use the test to differentiate between different types of dementia.”
 
Chief executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Professor Philip Nelson, said: “The UK faces a huge challenge over the coming decades, we have an ageing population and a likely rise in the numbers of people suffering from dementias. These research projects will improve our abilities to detect and understand dementias and how the disease progresses.” 
 
 
Elderly couple
 
 
 

 

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