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Smell and eye tests show potential to detect Alzheimer's early
Date:7/13/2014

ealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia) and colleagues reported preliminary results of a study of volunteers who took a proprietary supplement containing curcumin, which binds to beta-amyloid with high affinity and has fluorescent properties that allow amyloid plaques to be detected in the eye using a novel system from NeuroVision Imaging, LLC, and a technique called retinal amyloid imaging (RAI). Volunteers also underwent brain amyloid PET imaging to correlate the retina and brain amyloid accumulation.

An abstract prepared by the scientists for AAIC 2014 gives the results for 40 participants out of 200 total in the study. The full study is expected to be completed later this year.

Preliminary results suggest that amyloid levels detected in the retina were significantly correlated with brain amyloid levels as shown by PET imaging. The retinal amyloid test also differentiated between Alzheimer's and non-Alzheimer's subjects with 100 percent sensitivity and 80.6 percent specificity.

Furthermore, longitudinal studies on an initial cohort demonstrated an average of 3.5% increase in retinal amyloid over a 3.5-month period of time demonstrating promise of the technique as a means for monitoring response to therapy.

"We envision this technology potentially as an initial screen that could complement what is currently used: brain PET imaging, MRI imaging, and clinical tests," Frost said. "If further research shows that our initial findings are correct, it could potentially be delivered as part of an individual's regular eye check-up. The high resolution level of our images could also allow accurate monitoring of individual retinal plaques as a possible method to follow progression and response to therapy."

The trial is a collaboration between CSIRO, Edith Cowan University, McCusker Alzheimer's Research Foundation and California-based NeuroVision Imaging. The project is part of the Australian Imaging and
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Contact: Alzheimer's Association Media Line
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Alzheimer's Association
Source:Eurekalert

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