Early diagnosis in Parkinson's disease
A new study identified markers in eye scans which can detect the presence of Parkinson's disease an average of seven years before clinical presentation. This research, the largest of its kind, utilized artificial intelligence to analyze retinal imaging, revealing these early indicators of Parkinson's.
Its analysis of the AlzEye dataset was repeated using the wider UK Biobank database (healthy volunteers), which replicated the discoveries.
High-resolution images of the retina are now a routine part of eye care – in particular, a type of 3D scan known as 'optical coherence tomography' (OCT), which is widely used in eye clinics and high-street opticians. In less than a minute, an OCT scan produces a cross-section of the retina (the back of the eye) in incredible detail – down to a thousandth of a millimetre.
The innovative field of "oculomics" has previously unveiled signs of various neurodegenerative conditions through eye scans.
This development brings hope for early intervention and prevention of the debilitating disease.