26 July 2018
Researchers from Moorfields and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (UCL IoO) have found that thinner retinas in the human eye are a clear sign a person is at significant and increased risk of future mental decline.
This breakthrough study co-authored by Prof Paul Foster, Professor of Glaucoma Studies at UCL IoO and Moorfields, and Mr Praveen Patel, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL IoO, suggests regular eye tests could help identify those likely to get dementia at a much earlier stage, which means suitable treatments could be prescribed at a more effective time to slow or stop the onset of dementia at early stages of the disease.
In the largest longitudinal study of its kind, researchers assessed UK Biobank data, from 32,000 anonymised individuals, aged between 40 and 69.
The selected participants had undergone optical coherence tomography (OCT), which precisely measures retinal anatomy, in particular, the retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL), at baseline – between the years 2006-2010. At the same time, participants had also undergone a series of basic cognitive tests which assessed memory, reaction time and reasoning. The OCT and cognitive tests were then repeated in a subset of participants approximately three years after baseline in 2013.
See the full story on the Moorfields website