KINGSTON, R.I. (CBS) – Researchers in New England are developing a screening process that could help detect Alzheimer’s disease decades before any symptoms appear. The University of Rhode Island and Butler Hospital in Providence have announced a five-year clinical trial to develop a low-cost and less-invasive retinal scan.
They hope the scan will allow doctors to identify the signs of Alzheimer’s 20 years or more before symptoms develop. Microscopic changes in the retina could indicate that changes are also taking place in the brain that put someone at high risk for the disease.READ MORE: Keller @ Large: Talks Drag Over Infrastructure Bill, But One Side Has The Upper Hand
URI, @BayCare, and @ButlerHospital are launching a clinical trial of retinal screening processes that could help clinicians detect Alzheimer’s disease possibly two or more decades before patients develop life-altering clinical symptoms.
➡️: https://t.co/kjRwnn6lNB pic.twitter.com/23fMLlEEOQ
— URI (@universityofri) January 6, 2020READ MORE: Plans To Rebuild Norwood Hospital In The Works After Floods Destroyed Building One Year Ago
Right now, researchers say, a single Alzheimer’s test costs up to $4,500 and often isn’t done until symptoms start appearing and it’s too late for treatments that could have helped.
“We believe this could significantly lower the cost of testing,” URI vice president for research Peter Snyder said in a statement. “We may then identify more people in the very earliest stage of the disease, and our drug therapies are likely to be more effective at that point and before decades of slow disease progression.”MORE NEWS: Canton Woman Pleads Guilty In Romance Scam
The study is seeking 300 volunteers between the ages of 55 and 80. Learn more about volunteering here.