Parkinson's Could Potentially Be Detected by an Eye Test

Parkinson's

Eye spotting to help Parkinson’s patients


Scientists have found out a new way of spotting changes in the eye which could detect Parkinson’s disease before its symptoms actually show. Scientists from University College London also called UCL state that their initial animal study could direct to a low cost and methods which do not involve the introduction of instrument in the body to detect the disease. 1 out of every 500 people is affected by Parkinson’s and stands second among the most neurodegenerative disease in the world.

The research was welcomed by the charity Parkinson’s UK and was looked upon as a significant step. The scientists ran tests on rats and examined them. What they found was that there were some alterations visible to them at the back of their eye prior to the occurrence of the visible symptoms. The research was led by Professor Francesca Cordeiro who is a professor of Retinal and Glaucoma Neurodegeneration Studies.

She said that the study was a theoretically innovative leap forward in the primary diagnosis and dealing of one of the most incapacitating diseases in the world. These tests suggest that the researchers can be able to intercede way in advance and treat people more effectively suffering from this overwhelming disease. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are stiff muscles, slow motor movements, a condensed quality of living and tremors.

It is only after the brain cells of the person having Parkinson’s are damaged, that one could see these symptoms. However so far there has not been any sort of blood tests or scanning of brain that could ultimately diagnose the disease. Parkinson’s does not straight away lead to the death of the person, but over time there is chance that the symptoms could worsen.

Well known sufferers


  • Famous boxer Mohammad Ali passed away at the age of 74, more than ten years after the brain disease evolved. Though the condition he suffered from did not take away his life, Ali died subsequent complications related to a chest infection. It was only of most the debatable challenge he had to face. 
  • Famous actor Michael J Fox was another victim of the disease. In 1998 he revealed that he found in 1981 that he had Parkinson’s. In order to battle with it he decided to take a step back from his career in acting. 
  • In 2013 Billy Connolly had developed the initial symptoms of Parkinson’s for which he is getting suitable treatment. 
  • The first man to complete a mile run in four minutes, Sir Roger Bannister, detected with Parkinson’s disease in 2011 at the age of 82. He being a neurologist said he realised he had troubles with walking.

'Urgent need'


The director of research Dr Arthur Roach, at the charity Parkinson’s UK stated that there was critical need for not too complicated and a precise way of finding the condition, especially when the person is in its early stages. He added that even though the study is in its early stages and is yet waited for human trial, a simple test like on the eyes can prove to be a leap ahead for finding of cures that could help confront the fundamental causes of the disease rather than hiding its symptoms.

Dr Roach also brought to light that the same charity was financially backing similar studies which are trying to figure out the bio markers for Parkinson’s, which are weighed changes observed in the people having this condition. He described that having the bio marker for the disease would be of great help as it could help us diagnose Parkinson’s in an earlier stage, when patients are liable to benefit from the new found treatments directed at slowing down the progression.

The team at UCL made use of medical instruments that the doctors have already used and mention that this new latent method could also be used to observe how the people react to the given treatment. The researchers treated their testing animals with a freshly formulated form of an anti-diabetic medicine for which they found that surprisingly, the drug led to less damage of cells.

They also mention that, that was one more area they would be very interested to work around on in case of human trials. Acta Neuropathologica Communications has published this study of the researchers. Dr Eduardo Normando who is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Western Eye Hospital and UCL said that the discoveries made have the capacity to lay boundaries and also get rid of the suffering for many patients if the condition could be diagnosed in early stages and is treated with the new creation.

The proof they have strong implies that they have a chance to mediate well in advance and successfully treat the patients with the help of reasonably priced imaging system. This new technology founded by the team is patented by the research commercialisation company UCL Business at UCL

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