A new study has suggested that one of the first signs that a person is getting Alzheimer’s can be seen through their eyes, particularly the loss of blood vessels in the retina.
In people with healthy brains, microscopic blood vessels form a dense web at the back of the eye inside the retina, as seen in 133 participants in a control group.
In the eyes of 39 people with Alzheimer’s disease, that web was less dense and even sparse in places. The differences in density were statistically significant after researchers controlled for factors including age, sex, and level of education, said Duke ophthalmologist and retinal surgeon Sharon Fekrat, M.D., the study’s senior author.
(Image credit: Duke Eye Center)