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VIDEO: Eye exam could detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers with the Center for Drug Design at the University of Minnesota have developed technology that could detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease through changes in the retina. It was proven effective in animals and paves the way for a human clinical trial.

Results from the study were published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

“This technology is a non-invasive way to identify Alzheimer’s disease before plaque is formed,” Robert Vince, Ph.D., director of the Center for Drug Design, told Fox 9.

Vince and co-investigator, Swati More, Ph.D., hope that down the road, this scan could become a routine Alzheimer’s screening at regular eye exams. Being able to visualize clear patterns of changes in the retina will help researchers develop new drug targets, as well.

“We have had great success with animal models and believe the technology is very promising for humans as well,” said More, assistant professor in the Center for Drug Design.

The Center partnered with James Beach, Ph.D., from CytoViva, Inc. in Auburn, Alabama, to create the device.

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