UCSD scientists discover how a person's eyes might show a risk of Alzheimer's disease
Published - 09/30/19 - 12:00 PM | 1124 views | 3 3 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print

A new study published in "Neurobiology of Aging" found that how quickly a person's pupil dilates while taking cognitive tests may show if they're at risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Scientists at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine say this could be a low-cost, low-invasive method to aid in screening individuals before cognitive decline begins. 

In recent years, researchers investigating AD have focused on two factors: the accumulation of protein plaques in the brain called amyloid-beta and tangles of a protein called tau. Both have been linked to damaging and killing neurons, resulting in progressive cognitive dysfunction.

This new study focuses on pupillary responses which are driven by the locus coeruleus (LC), a cluster of neurons in the brainstem involved in regulating arousal and also modulating cognitive function. Tau is the earliest occurring known biomarker for AD; it first appears in the LC, and it is more strongly associated with cognition than amyloid-beta. The study was led by first author William S. Kremen, Ph.D., and senior author Carol E. Franz, Ph.D., both professors of psychiatry and co-directors of the Center for Behavior Genetics of Aging at UC San Diego School of Medicine. 

The LC drives pupillary response — the changing diameter of the "eyes'' pupils — during cognitive tasks. Pupils get bigger the more difficult the brain task. Researchers had previously reported that adults with mild cognitive impairment (often a precursor to AD), displayed greater pupil dilation and cognitive effort than cognitively normal individuals. Those findings were still true even if both groups produced equivalent results. In the latest paper, the scientists link pupillary dilation responses with identified AD risk genes.

"Given the evidence linking pupillary responses, LC, tau, and the association between pupillary response and AD polygenic risk scores (an aggregate accounting of factors to determine an individual's inherited AD risk), these results are proof-of-concept that measuring pupillary response during cognitive tasks could be another screening tool to detect Alzheimer's before symptoms appear," said Kremen.

To learn more and to read the full study, visit doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2019.09.001.

Comments
(3)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Victoria Park
|
October 04, 2019
Please ignore my sales pitch below. Today my herpes flared up with a vengeance. The odor is unbearable and to add insult to injury Dr Ahmed won't return my calls.
Victoria Park
|
October 01, 2019
New Cure for herpes Virus

I was once a victim of Herpes virus miraculously I was cured. I am from Ecuador, before I asked my girlfriend out she already told me she was battling with herpes virus. So the decision to get involved with her was mine. But nevertheless, I can't let the virus decide our future. So I was determined to get rid of the virus. I suffered from this deadly virus for over 8 months. The lesions were on my lips and later extended to my back. I tried all sorts of medication but to no avail. I decided to try out herbal home remedies. Then I went online and I was on one herbal blog, I came across lots of different patients comments who were cured from several diseases by Dr. Ahmed Usman I had to write the doctor I contacted the doctor through his email and he assured me that he will cure me and my girl friend together and we will be healthy again. He prepared some traditional medication for Herpes Virus and sent them to me, I used all the medication he sent, just as he instructed though while I was like on the second bottle I was not experiencing any symptom as the lesion on my back and lips dried up. I continued the dosage and kept in touch with the doctor. After about one week I consumed the whole bottles. I and my girl friend went for test and to our greatest surprise the result was negative. We were saved the very moment we thought all hope was lost. You too can be healthy again, you should talk to Dr. Ahmed through his direct email address: drahmedusman5104@gmail.com  He has herbal medicine for any type of disease; diabetes, Fibroid, Cancers, HIV. 
Robert Burns
|
October 01, 2019
You seem to have been afflicted with severe mental illness and toxic spammer syndrome. Remove this cyber feces immediately. Eejit, there is no mere "Herpes virus".
Comments are back! Simply post the comment (it'll complain about you failing the human test) then simply click on the captcha and then click "Post Comment" again. Comments are also welcome on our Facebook page.
Trending