An eye exam may be all that is needed to diagnose Parkinson’s disease, new research shows.
Using an advanced machine-learning algorithm and fundus eye images, which depict the small blood vessels and more at the back of the eye, investigators are able to classify patients with Parkinson’s disease compared against a control group. “We discovered that micro blood vessels decreased in both size and number in patients with Parkinson’s,” Maximillian Diaz, a PhD student at the University of Florida in Gainesville, told Medscape.
The simple eye examination may offer a way to diagnose Parkinson’s early in the disease progression.
Diaz said the test could be incorporated to a patient’s annual physical examination not only to look for Parkinson’s but also for other neurological diseases. A team in his lab is also looking at whether the same technique can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.
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