Diagnosing Alzheimer's is not anywhere near being a perfect science. In fact, there has been no real way to be sure except in an autopsy, or in a PET scan, which requires an injection of a radioactive substance.Alzheimer's continues to confound scientists in that there is currently no cure for it. All they can do so far is to stall its effect for a little while. Eventually, it will kill the person that has it.

How Alzheimer’s develops

Alzheimer’s creates a tangled mess in the brain that disrupts communication between the various parts. In an unknown process, the proteins in the brain become misfolded and they accumulate.Detecting Alzheimer's early is best because the further development of the accumulation of the tangled growths in the brain can be delayed for a little while. As it progresses, several symptoms will be noticed, often starting with cognitive decline, eventually resulting in an inability to cope with normal life.

Alzheimer’s may start years earlier

It is currently believed that Alzheimer's may actually start as much as a decade prior to any symptoms becoming evident. Providing a means to develop a way to stop or limit it as early as possible makes sense, but until now, no method that is uninvasive or cheap has been found.

Medical report reveals successful test

A report has been recently released by the Providence Lifespan Rhode Island Hospital that reveals a new way to detect early stages of Alzheimer's has been discovered.

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The technique uses optical coherence tomography (OCT). This tool is already in use and it is accepted by the medical establishment for the purpose of examining microscopic features.

Simply by reconfiguring the machine, researchers then aimed it at the retina and further into the eye. They added a laser so that they could perform a method called blue laser autofluorescence along with the OCT. The laser causes specific cell features to glow without any dye being injected.The study involved 63 patients.

All of them were in the high risk category for developing Alzheimer's. A PET scan was first performed on each of them so that the current amount of the tangled mass, called beta-amyloid accumulation, could be determined. When completed, OCT scans were conducted, and the results were carefully compared.

The OCT scan could not actually detect the presence of beta-amyloid accumulation, but it did detect inclusion bodies that were shadow-like.

The amount of these objects did correspond to the amount detected in the PET scans.

More testing Is necessary

Before it can be approved, or even developed more, the test needs to be conducted on the same patients at a later time, to test for progression. New patients will also need to be tested, and then the method must be refined.At the present time, there is no cure for Alzheimer's. Being able to detect it early, however, can give researchers another tool in its detection and then hope to work toward hindering its develop and eventually a real cure for it.

When evidence of Alzheimer's is noticed, getting the individual to the doctor quickly is important. This can enable treatment to delay the symptoms for a while, as well as give caregivers an opportunity to best prepare for the situations they can expect to encounter. It is also possible to obtain experimental medicine if interested.

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