Touching Hearts at Home is pleased to welcome Carlye Wilson as our new Administrative Assistant!
Could Eyes Be the Key to Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Earlier?
Despite the gains scientists have made in understanding Alzheimer’s disease, there’s still a lot that is unknown. One thing that scientists have not discovered is a way to diagnose the disease when it is in its early stages. Alzheimer’s disease begins long before there are any outward signs of the disease, damaging pathways and tissues in the brain.
Finding a way to diagnose the disease earlier could lead to better treatments that might slow the onset of the symptoms. Recently, scientists found that retinal imaging might be useful in making an early diagnosis.
Alzheimer’s Disease and the Eyes
This latest study was conducted by scientists at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. There were 35 participants who agreed to undergo hyperspectral imaging (HSI). HSI is a kind of scan that takes just 10 minutes to administer. It uses a special camera and is noninvasive.
HSI scatters electromagnetic radiation particles in the eye. The scientists looked for a difference in the scattering of the light that they expected from eyes that contained tiny clusters of beta-amyloid, one of the hallmark changes in the brain that occurs with Alzheimer’s disease.
To prove the effectiveness of the technique, the researchers compared the HSI scans of 19 people with Alzheimer’s to those of 16 people without the disease. They found that the expected changes in the dispersion of the particles was a good indicator of people who had some stage of Alzheimer’s disease, including mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
The study is an excellent example of the strides that scientists are making in gaining a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the technique must undergo further testing to determine if it is an effective method of diagnosis. Until a way is discovered to diagnose Alzheimer’s during its earliest stages, most people with Alzheimer’s disease will only be diagnosed after symptoms begin to appear.
Some of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease are:
- Memory loss that interferes with daily life.
- Difficulty with solving problems.
- Confusion about the date or places.
- Trouble doing regular tasks.
- Problems with speaking, writing, or understanding when other people speak.
If your older family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, homecare can assist in keeping them safe, comfortable, and as healthy as possible. A homecare provider can offer activities that stimulate the older adult, reducing boredom and frustration. Homecare providers can also help with things like cooking meals and keeping the house clean. In addition, a homecare provider can assist the senior to bathe, use the bathroom, get dressed, and more.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare Services in Spring Hill TN, please contact the caring staff at Touching Hearts at Home. Serving Middle Tennessee (Nashville, Brentwood, Bell Meade, Franklin, Spring Hill, Columbia, Pulaski, and more!) Call today: 629-203-7925.
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