Almost since the disease was identified back in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, scientists have been looking for ways to identify it earlier. We do know the disease process begins in the brain 10 to 15 years before a patient’s symptoms start. Alarmingly, by the time memory problems develop, 40% to 50% of a patient’s brain cells have already been affected or destroyed.
There are certain hallmarks of Alzheimer’s, including the accumulation of sticky plaques in the brain, these may show up in the visual system and are made up of proteins. The problem is that current technology cannot conclusively confirm the presence of the plaques.
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a brain imaging test — a type of PET scan — to detect the presence of amyloid proteins in the brain. The FDA made clear, however, that the scan alone is not enough to diagnose Alzheimer’s. In most instances, the best we have now is a clinical neurological exam after the patient has already suffered memory loss.
Response levels during eye exam testing can provide early detection for Alzheimers because the patient’s response level to vision testing is delayed. Conversation delay is also noted to provide the family of this observation.
Who knows if the King “Elvis Presley,” had developed Alzheimers we might not have all of his great music!
http://www.TheEyewearGallery.com Dr. Warren Johnson| Dr. Burt Bodan | Dr. Do Nguyen