New eye test can detect rare form of dementia

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Sep 10, 2017, 2:02 pm IST
Updated Sep 10, 2017, 2:02 pm IST
Previously, it was difficult to diagnose this type as it causes no memory problems.
New eye test can spot early signs of dementia. (Photo: Pexels)
 New eye test can spot early signs of dementia. (Photo: Pexels)

Researchers have found a new eye test can spot early signs of dementia fast.

It can particularly detect an uncommon type of dementia that primarily affects the front and sides of the brain, the Daily Mail reported.

Scientists at the University Of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered how eye changes maybe a sign of frontotemporal dementia a.ka.  frontotemporal lobe degeneration (FTD).

The "thinning of the outer retina indicates the patient has frontotemporal dementia", the report revealed. The retina is most likely affected due to neurodegenerative disorders.

"Our finding of outer retina thinning in this carefully designed study suggests that specific brain pathologies may be mirrored by specific retinal abnormalities," study author Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology Dr Benjamin Kim told the Daily Mail.

FTD is difficult to diagnose as it does not cause any memory problems. However, it develops slowly and worsens.

Slow movement, loss of bladder control,  weakness of muscle, finding it difficult to swallow are some of the physical issues FTD patients suffer.

While there is currently no test to signal FTD, it is the most common causes of midlife dementia and is often mistaken for Alzheimer's, the report revealed.

"As we enter an era of disease-modifying treatments for neurodegenerative disorders, it is essential for us to have tools that can identify the specific pathologies accumulating in the brain so that we can administer the appropriate treatments to patients who are likely to benefit," Professor of Neurology Dr Murray Grossman told the Daily Mail.

The study was originally published in Neurology.





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