The results of a research done at Moorefields Eye Hospital in London was presented recently at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2016 in Toronto.
The researchers have found a correlation between the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer with some measurable cognitive abilities. This makes sense because retina is an extension of the central nervous system and the changes in the nerve fibres of retina can give a clue about the health of the brain overall.
Dr Clare Walton, Research Manager at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
‘Changes in the brain associated with dementia can begin several years before any memory symptoms appear. This research suggests that some of these changes happen in the retina of the eye too, which could give us a relatively easy, non-invasive way to spot them early.
‘Eye tests are fairly common for older people, so there is great potential to incorporate additional tests into their regular check-up. These tests could help to identify people at risk of dementia who would benefit from further investigation but will not become a primary way to diagnosis the condition.