Recognizing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: what role the eyes may play

Recognizing dementia and Alzheimer's disease: what role the eyes may play

Early detection of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia increases their chances of getting them. Scientists are now paying attention to the eyes.

Castle / San Diego – Alzheimer’s One of the widespread diseases in Germany. NS German Alzheimer’s Society The number is estimated to number around 1.6 million affected – and the trend is increasing. About 300,000 new cases are added every year. To properly treat dementia, early detection of the disease is essential.

Symptoms are often only recognized when Alzheimer’s disease has progressed. A lot of research has shown a new way of diagnosing dementia in the early stages.

Recognizing Alzheimer’s: Dementia should be seen in the eyes

Alzheimer’s is considered incurable. Timely diagnosis can still be important when dealing with the disease to initiate early treatment measures. The brain is usually the focus of Alzheimer’s research. Until now, the main focus of research has been on the effect of various protein deposits on human memory.

Cluttered tau proteins and accumulations of protein plaques have a negative effect on neurons in the brain region – and kill important nerve cells. Neuronal dysfunction occurs and the amnesia typical of Alzheimer’s develops.

According to experts, Alzheimer’s disease can be seen in the eyes. (symbol image)

© Imago

Short memory loss is often the first sign of Alzheimer’s. Researchers at the University of San Diego in California have discovered a new way of spotting dementia before the first symptoms. The movement of the students should be decisive. The researchers published their results in an online database science direct.

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Detect Alzheimer’s early – pupil response is key

It is well known that Alzheimer’s disease begins with the accumulation of certain proteins in the brain. The research team from the University of San Diego observed that in the case of dementia, the brain region “locus coeruleus” is attacked first. This part of the brain, among other things, determines the dilation of the pupils and may be affected by the deposition of so-called tau proteins.

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Using cognitive tests, the researchers examined the pupil response of 1,119 test subjects, who were divided into two groups. The following statement was made: In mentally and cognitively demanding tasks, the pupils of people with high Alzheimer’s risk increased significantly more than those of healthy people – even if they did equally well on tests.

Based on the dilated pupils, the first cognitive impairment could be recognized, even as both groups achieved similar results. The lead of the study, Professor William Kramer, sees pupillary response as a valid means of diagnosing dementia: “Measurement of pupillary responses during cognitive tasks may be another screening tool for early detection of Alzheimer’s symptoms. could.”

Diagnosis of dementia: how reliable is the pupil response?

It has been clinically proven that there is a relationship between tau protein deposition, the “locus coeruleus”, and the pupillary response. Even though preliminary studies see the examination of pupils as a possible means of diagnosing Alzheimer’s, more large-scale studies are needed to scientifically confirm this notion. (aa)

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List of rubric lists: © Imago

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