Alzheimer's and the Eyes

InfoAging reports on one of the possible paths to early detection of Alzheimer's disease: "I noticed that my mice were developing dense bilateral cataracts in their eyes - at an age when mice simply don't get cataracts ... So I took a look at a few more of the Alzheimer's mice, and they all had the same cataract ... the cataracts were composed of the same protein, beta-amyloid, that forms sticky, tangled plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. ... This was the first time the beta-amyloid protein had been seen outside of the brain, suggesting that the disease results from a problem affecting the body's entire system. ... [researchers have] also created new non-invasive laser technology that can detect beta-amyloid in the eye even before the cataracts become visible. ... Intriguingly, they have also found that amyloid buildup appears earlier in the lens than the brain." Some evidence suggests that Alzheimer's is similar to diabetes; more a consequence of lifestyle and metabolism than inevitable. If true, detecting the disease early means the ability to avoid or mitigate it through lifestyle changes.

Link: http://websites.afar.org/site/PageServer?pagename=IA_feat47

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