Eye scans detect signs of Parkinson’s disease up to seven years before diagnosis

A team of researchers from Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, led by Siegfried Wagner and Pearse Keane, have made a groundbreaking discovery. For the first time, they have identified markers that indicate the presence of Parkinson’s disease in patients, on average, seven years before clinical presentation. This has been made possible through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and the analysis of retinal imaging. The study, published in Neurology®, used the AlzEye dataset and was further replicated using the UK Biobank database, confirming the findings. The use of eye scans to detect neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis, is an innovative and emerging area of research called “oculomics.” The retina, being easily accessible through imaging techniques such as optical coherence tomography (OCT), provides valuable insights into overall health. These findings could potentially lead to the development of pre-screening tools and early intervention strategies for Parkinson’s. The study involved collaboration between various NHS research partnerships, and the potential impact of increasing imaging across a wider population is significant for public health.


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