From Duke Health:
DURHAM, N.C. – A quick eye exam might one day allow eye doctors to check up on both your eyeglasses prescription and your brain health.
A study of more than 200 people at the Duke Eye Center published March 11 in the journal Ophthalmology Retina suggests the loss of blood vessels in the retina could signal Alzheimer's disease.
In people with healthy brains, microscopic blood vessels form a dense web at the back of the eye inside the retina, as seen in 133 participants in a control group.
In the eyes of 39 people with Alzheimer's disease, that web was less dense and even sparse in places. The differences in density were statistically significant after researchers controlled for factors including age, sex, and level of education, said Duke ophthalmologist and retinal surgeon Sharon Fekrat, M.D., the study's senior author.