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Health New Researches

AI Eye Scans Could Provide Early Detection of Parkinson’s Disease

AI scans of a person’s eyes may allow for early detection of the possibility that a person might develop Parkinson’s disease someday. Researchers from the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology said that they were able to find two markers that indicate the presence of Parkinson’s. Their findings were published in the journal Neurology.

The scientists say that they can detect the presence of Parkinson’s as much as seven years earlier than the average today by using two large, powerful datasets that enabled them to identify certain subtle markers for the disease; even though, Parkinson’s has a relatively low prevalence (0.1-0.2% of the population). Generation of the AlzEye dataset was enabled by INSIGHT, the world’s largest database of retinal images and associated clinical data.

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As with all manner of diseases, such as cancer, early detection can be key in providing the proper treatment to a patient. Even in the case of diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s where there is no known cure, early treatment can help to allay the symptoms.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects movement. It is characterized by tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia (slow movement), and postural instability. The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms. These treatments include medications, surgery, and physical therapy.

The use of data from eye scans has previously revealed signs of other neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and, most recently, schizophrenia, in an emerging and exciting field of research referred to as “oculomics”. Eye scans and eye data have also been able to reveal a propensity to high blood pressure, cardiovascular conditions including strokes, and diabetes.

UCL Institute of Ophthalmology’s Siegfried Wagner, lead author of the study, said, “I continue to be amazed by what we can discover through eye scans. While we are not yet ready to predict whether an individual will develop Parkinson’s, we hope that this method could soon become a pre-screening tool for people at risk of disease. Finding signs of a number of diseases before symptoms emerge means that, in the future, people could have the time to make lifestyle changes to prevent some conditions arising, and clinicians could delay the onset and impact of life changing neurodegenerative disorders.”

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