Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alzheimer's Lesions Found In The Retina

Date:
October 22, 2009
Source:
University of California - Irvine
Summary:
The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but new research indicates they also may mirror a brain ravaged by Alzheimer's disease.

UCI neuroscientist Zhiqun Tan lead research that found the retinas of mice may mirror the brain ravaged by Alzheimer's disease.
Credit: Photo by Daniel A. Anderson / University Communications

The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but new research indicates they also may mirror a brain ravaged by Alzheimer's disease.

Related Articles


UC Irvine neuroscientists have found that retinas in mice genetically altered to have Alzheimer's undergo changes similar to those that occur in the brain -- most notably the accumulation of amyloid plaque lesions.

In addition, the scientists discovered that when Alzheimer's therapies are tested in such mice, retinal changes that result might predict how the treatments will work in humans better than changes in mouse brain tissue.

These findings are key to developing retinal imaging technology that may help diagnose and treat people with Alzheimer's, which afflicts 5.3 million people in the U.S. and is the leading cause of elderly dementia. Brain imaging techniques are being tested, but retinal imaging could be less invasive, less expensive and easier to perform.

"It's important to discover the pathological changes before an Alzheimer's patient dies," said Zhiqun Tan, a UCI neuroscientist leading the research. "Brain tissue isn't transparent, but retinas are. I hope in the future we'll be able to diagnose the disease and track its progress by looking into the eyes."

For a study appearing in the November issue of The American Journal of Pathology, Tan and colleagues analyzed the retinas of Alzheimer's mice that had been treated with immunotherapy.

Vaccinated mice performed better on learning and memory tests than untreated mice, and their brains had fewer plaque lesions. Similarly, retinas in the treated mice had fewer lesions than in untreated mice. However, the treated mice's retinas had worse inflammation and vascular changes associated with Alzheimer's than did their brains.

When immunotherapy was tested in humans, inflammation of brain tissue occurred similar to that observed in the mice retinas. "This tells us the retina may be more sensitive at reflecting changes in the human brain," Tan said.

UCI researchers, including Dr. Steven Schreiber, neurology professor and interim chair, are working on retinal imaging technology for Alzheimer's patients.

"New ways to view various body parts with high resolution are being invented at a rapid pace," Schreiber said. "I expect the imaging field will continue improving as we progress in developing our retinal technique."

In addition to Tan and Schreiber, UCI's Bingqian Liu, Suhail Rasool and Charles Glabe contributed to the study, along with Zhikuan Yang and Jian Ge of the Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center in China. Liu also is affiliated with the center. The UCI scientists are from the departments of neurology, molecular biology & biochemistry, and anatomy & neurobiology, as well as the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, or UCI MIND.

The research was supported by the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, the National Basic Research Program of China, the UC Discovery Grant Program, and the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Irvine. "Alzheimer's Lesions Found In The Retina." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021125139.htm>.
University of California - Irvine. (2009, October 22). Alzheimer's Lesions Found In The Retina. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021125139.htm
University of California - Irvine. "Alzheimer's Lesions Found In The Retina." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021125139.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins