"Eyes May Be Window Into Future Memory Loss" - Dennis Thompson
By looking deeply into your eyes, doctors might be able to predict your future risk for dementia and memory loss. Unhealthy changes to the blood vessels of the retina could mirror changes taking place in the brain's blood vessels, and that could contribute to a decline in mental ability, a new study suggests. Doctors know that small blood vessel blockages and ruptures in the brain contribute to both dementia and Alzheimer's, said Samuel Gandy, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and associate director of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. Unfortunately, these brain blood vessels are so small that they can't be viewed in a living person with existing technology, Dr. Gandy explained. Dr. Gandy said the potential of this screening technique is "exciting" because it could provide doctors with an easy way to assess a person's future risk for dementia. "If this holds up under independent replication, this could be incredibly useful to researchers and clinicians, both for diagnosis and potentially as an endpoint for clinical trials of drugs aimed at improving cerebrovascular circulation," Dr. Gandy said.
- Samuel Gandy, MD, PhD, Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Associate Director, Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center