Research raises hope for an eye test for Parkinson’s disease

Post on 13th October 2016

Sight tests that can identify health concerns other than changes in vision are known but news that a simple eye test could be developed to detect Parkinson’s disease before symptoms appear is exciting.

Opthalmology researchers at University College London (UCL) may have discovered a method of detecting changes in the eye which could identify this debilitating and incurable condition which affects one in 500 people.

Symptoms, which include tremors and muscle stiffness, slowness of movement and reduced quality of life, usually only emerge after brain cells have been damaged. There is an urgent need for a simple and accurate way of detecting Parkinson’s disease, particularly in its early stages, so a non-invasive eye test to do this would be a real breakthrough.

The scientists at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology discovered a new way of observing changes in the retina which can be seen in Parkinson’s before changes in the brain occur and the first symptoms become evident. They used medical equipment that doctors already use.

The tests were carried out on rats with human trials and further research required but the results have been hailed as significant.

Such developments help focus on the wider benefits of sight tests.

Technological advances and expertise allow optometrists to find out more about the health of your eyes and your general health.

If you have not had your eyes tested for some time please feel free to call in at a Scrivens branch for advice.