Parkinson ‘s can be Detected thru Simple Eye Exam : Study
Parkinson ‘s can be detected with a simple eye exam, research suggests. Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative health problem in the central nervous system, which is also chronic and progressive.
It occurs due to a decrease in a neurotransmitter (dopamine) that helps carry out voluntary body movements. Therefore, those who have Parkinson’s usually have tremors in their upper limbs, muscle stiffness and also imbalance.
These symptoms contribute to a diagnosis of the disease. But, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), an eye examination accompanied by artificial intelligence techniques can detect the disease early.
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How the study was done?
As the disease progresses, there is a deterioration of nerve cells that dilutes the walls of the retina — the layer of tissue that lines the back of the eyeball. The disease also affects the blood vessels in the retina. So, using artificial intelligence techniques, the researchers examined the images of the eyes and checked for signs of Parkinson ‘s disease.
The research results show that the disease can be identified based on changes in the retina. The researchers believe that changes in the brain’s physiology can be seen through the eyes.
Why is research important?
“The most important finding in study was that a brain disease was diagnosed with a simple image of the eye. The diagnosis can be made in less than a minute and the cost of the equipment is much lower compared to a CT scan or MRI,” explains Maximillian Diaz, author of the study.
According to the researcher, this simple screening is a way to detect more cases early, which can help to understand the disease better and find a cure or a way to slow the progression of Parkinson’s. “The approach can also contribute to the identification of other diseases that affect the structure of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis,” adds Diaz.