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Hallmark Alzheimer's disease changes found in retinas of humans and imaged in live animals
Date:6/24/2010

ated a correlation between retinal plaques and brain plaques as disease progressed.
  • In the laboratory mice, a unique immune system-based therapy that reduces the amount of plaques in the brain also reduced plaque load in the retina to the same extent, suggesting that the retina could faithfully represent the brain in assessing response to therapy.
  • Beta-amyloid plaques were identified in retinal samples from human patients who had died from Alzheimer's disease, and their features correlated with the diagnosed stage of the disease. Importantly, plaques were clearly detected not only in patients who definitely had the disease, but also in the retinas of some people who were suspected of having early-stage Alzheimer's disease based on clinical diagnosis and microscopic examination of brain tissue after death.

    Together, the results offer the first evidence for the existence of Alzheimer's-specific plaques in the retina of human patients and the ability to detect individual plaques in live mouse models, creating a strong basis for future research building on these findings. According to the authors, these studies establish the potential of direct retinal beta-amyloid plaque imaging in live subjects as a tool for early Alzheimer's disease diagnosis and prognosis, as well as assessment of therapies.


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  • Contact: Sandy Van
    sandy@prpacific.com
    808-526-1708
    Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    Source:Eurekalert

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