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Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have detected evidence of Alzheimer's in patients showing no symptoms, using technology found at most eye doctor offices. Previous research into Alzheimer's revealed that patients had thinning at the center of the retina and degradation of the optic nerve. Using this as a basis for their research, the team used a simple eye test that measured retina and optical nerve fiber thickness. They also looked at the blood flow patterns within the retina since less blood flow to the center of the retina indicates damage to the central nervous system from Alzheimer's. Learn more about the eye test used to detect Alheimer's at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Gregory Van Stavern, MD, (seated) and Rajendra Apte, MD, PhD, examine Kathleen Eisterhold's eyes, using technology that one day may make it possible to screen patients for Alzheimer's disease during an eye exam. In a small study, the eye test was able to detect the presence of Alzheimer’s damage in older patients with no symptoms of the disease. (Photo: Matt Miller/Washington University)