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Israeli Researchers Look Into Eyes for Early Signs of Alzheimer’s

lab stock photo 2 (Photo: flickr/ibbl)

The Sheba Medical Center team is using new imaging technology to measure changes in pupil size, something they hope could provide early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Israeli eye expert Dr. Yigal Rotenstreich, a retinal researcher, says his team at Ramat Gan’s Sheba Medical Center may have found a way to determine if people will develop Alzheimer’s disease by scanning their retinas for warning signs of the dreaded illness. The retina, with direct access to the brain, is easily accessible for noninvasive imaging and could potentially enable early detection of the disease where clinical symptoms are not yet apparent, the researchers believe.

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes memory, thought and behavior problems. Symptoms usually develop gradually over a number of years. According to an Alzheimer’s Association 2017 report, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and this number could rise as high as 16 million by 2050, with US medical costs ballooning to $1.1 trillion from $259 billion this year.

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