Posted on Mar 04, 2015, 6 a.m.
Retinal imaging and smell testing may strongly predict dementia risk.
With current diagnostic approaches for Alzheimer’s Disease as invasive, expensive, and/or time consuming, there is keen interest in devising simple, accessible, fast, and reliable assessment techniques. Hamid R. Sohrabi, from Australia University’s Edith Cowan University Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease (Australia), and colleagues demonstrated in a group of 46 to 86-year olds that a poor ability to discriminate different smells significantly predicted cognitive decline at a three year follow-up. Further, the team analyzed blood vessel patterns in retinal photographs, taken as part of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing, with which the researchers diagnosed Alzheimer’s Disease with very high accuracy. The study authors urge that: “there is an increasing need for additional noninvasive and/or cost-effective tools, allowing identification of subjects in the preclinical or early clinical stages of [Alzheimer’s Disease] who could be suitable for further cognitive evaluation and dementia diagnostics. Implementation of such tests may facilitate early and potentially more effective therapeutic and preventative strategies.”
Christoph Laske, Hamid R. Sohrabi, Shaun M. Frost, Karmele Lopez-de-Ipina, Peter Garrard, Massimo Buscema, et al. "Innovative diagnostic tools for early detection of Alzheimer's disease.” Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 15 Nov. 2014.