Could Your Eyes Show Early Signs of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s?

From the Washington Post, another possible discovery in the fight against neurodegenerative disease.

“Forget the soul — it turns out the eyes may be the best window to the brain. Changes to the retina may foreshadow Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and researchers say a picture of your eye could assess your future risk of neurodegenerative disease.

Pinched off from the brain during embryonic development, the retina contains layers of neurons that seem to experience neurodegenerative disease along with their cousins inside the skull. The key difference is that these retinal neurons, right against the jellylike vitreous of the eyeball, live and die where scientists can see them.”

A team at Cedars-Sinai has developed a low cost eye test to – hopefully – provide a method of early detection of these diseases. This isn’t a cure, but early treatment can greatly extend both the quantity and quality of life.

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