Simple eye test 'could help diagnose Alzheimer's disease earlier'

18 September 2012

A simple eye test carried out by scientists at Lancaster University could hold the key to diagnosing Alzheimer's disease at a much earlier stage.

The condition affects around 800,000 people in the UK at the moment, yet many cases are not spotted until a patient shows clear signs of memory loss.

A study carried out at Lancaster University may solve this problem though, after researchers suggested they have found a way to accurately and easily diagnose Alzheimer's at an early stage.

Testing both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients, along with a control group of healthy older people, one of the experiments involved patients being tasked with looking away from light when it appeared.

While those with Parkinson's and those deemed healthy continually turned their gaze away from the light, Alzheimer's patients constantly failed in this test.

Research leader Dr Trevor Crawford commented: "It appears to be the difficulty that Alzheimer's patients experience in the monitoring and correcting of their errors that distinguishes Alzheimer's from several other disorders."

Posted by Jeanette Royston


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