Alzheimer's can be 'glimpsed' from the eyes both before it manifests itself and in the full-blown phase.
An American study, the first to have analyzed retinal and brain tissues donated by about ninety patients affected by the disease or other forms of dementia, has identified alterations in the retina and the clear decrease of some cells in people with cognitive decline.
Conducted at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, the research - explained the author, Koronoyo-Hamaoui - "is the first to have analyzed the impact of the disease on the molecular, cellular and structural profile of the retina. relationship with dementia".
Samples taken from patients were compared with others obtained from healthy donors.
Published in the journal 'Acta Neuropathologica', the research observed a clear increase in beta-amyloid protein (classic Alzheimer's signal) and an 80% decline compared to normal in 'microglial' cells.
The latter are responsible for the 'repair' of damaged tissues and cells, in particular they 'clean up' the accumulations of beta-amyloid protein in the brain and eyes.
Furthermore, markers of inflammation have been identified in the retina in individuals with Alzheimer's, but also with mild forms of cognitive decline.