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Study of noninvasive retinal imaging device presented at Alzheimer's conference
Date:7/13/2014

itical, but existing diagnostic methods are inconvenient, costly and impractical for routine screening.

"PET scans require the use of radioactive tracers, and cerebrospinal fluid analysis requires that patients undergo invasive and often painful lumbar punctures, but neither approach is quite feasible, especially for patients in the earlier stages of disease," he said. Positron emission tomography, or PET, is the current diagnostic standard.

"The retina, unlike other structures of the eye, is part of the central nervous system, sharing many characteristics of the brain. A few years ago, we discovered at Cedars-Sinai that the plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease occur not only in the brain but also in the retina. By 'staining' the plaque with curcumin, a component of the common spice turmeric, we could detect it in the retina even before it began to accumulate in the brain. The device we developed enables us to look through the eye just as an ophthalmologist looks through the eye to diagnose retinal disease and see these changes."

This clinical trial was designed to enable researchers to correlate retinal plaque detected by optical imaging with brain plaque detected by PET scans. Studies involved patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's, a group with mild cognitive impairment and a group of people with no evidence of brain abnormality.

The retinal beta-amyloid plaque findings and optical imaging technology began at Cedars-Sinai with studies in live rodents and the post-mortem investigation of human retinas of people who had died with Alzheimer's. Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, PhD, assistant professor of neurosurgery in the Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Biomedical Sciences, and Yosef Koronyo, a research scientist, were first authors of the original results that were published in a journal and presented at the AAIC in 2010. The Australian study is one of several in progress to determine if similar results can be confir
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Contact: Sandy Van
sandy@prpacific.com
808-526-1708
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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