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Yorke Peninsula Country Times Tuesday, November 6, 2012 27
MATES... Kieran Hill, Simon Westbrook and
Garrett Bettess at Simon and Jessica's
RELAXED... David Snodgrass,
Jock Neumann, Simon
Westbrook, Glenn Williams
and Nick Bruce unwind at the
CAKE... Simon Westbrook
nder cut the cake at their
rty held at The Bellagio in
ay, October 26
GROUP... Emily Shriver, Ashley Miller,
Mason Birch, Lyss Matheson, Tayla Daniel
and Abbey Ireland.
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Optoms to diagnose
Alzheimer's 20 years
9B Hallett St, KADINA
19 Main St, MINLATON
Optometrists and ophthalmologists may soon be able to
detect whether a patient is developing Alzheimer's disease
20 years before any symptoms become apparent.
In a world first, Australian researchers Professor Ralph
Martins, and Aaron Hornlimann are developing an affordable
camera that will detect Alzheimer's Disease by
photographing the retina to detect the build-up of
beta-amyloid deposits which are characteristic features in
the brain of people with Alzheimer's disease.
Currently at prototype stage, but soon to commence
trials in New South Wales and Western Australia, the camera
is expected to diagnose the disease up to 20 years before
symptoms become apparent and will evaluate the disease
as it progresses or, preferably, slows with treatment.
Currently, the same level of information can only be
acquired at two sites in Australia (one in Victoria, the other
in Western Australia), and they use expensive brain
scanners. A third site, in New South Wales, will have this
Before the scanners were available, the presence of
Alzheimer's disease could only be confirmed by analysing
the brain after a patient's death.
Presence of amyloids
Professor Ralph Martins, Foundation Chair in Ageing and
Alzheimer's Disease from Edith Cowan University, WA, and
Director of Research at the McCusker Alzheimer's Research
Foundation, has worked with Aaron Hornlimann, a young
Australian innovator and co-director of Visage Diagnostics,
to develop the new camera and examine its efficacy to
detect the disease by photographing fluorescent amyloid
deposits in the retina as a result of binding to tumeric
Beta-amyloid is now widely recognised as a key player in
the pathology of Alzheimer's disease; it is the presence of
beta-amyloid deposits the new camera will detect.
"Until now, Alzheimer's disease has only been targeted
for treatment once symptoms such as memory loss and
speech problems become apparent which is a stage when
the brain is severely damaged," Professor Martins said.
"What we've discovered using the brain scanner,
together with Professor Chris Rowe and colleagues in
Victoria, is the build-up of beta-amyloid in the brain begins
up to 20 years before any of these symptoms become
apparent, and this is the time when treatment should
He said, while the brain scanner sets the gold standard
for diagnosing and monitoring Alzheimer's disease, at
$3million to purchase, as well as $3000 per scan, its service
cannot be made widely available. Furthermore, due to the
radioactivity employed for detection, it cannot be used
frequently to monitor treatment effects.
"However at under $15,000 per unit, the retinal camera
we will now be trialling will make it possible for patients to
be tested by optometrists and ophthalmologists as well as
GPs and neurological specialists in Australia as an initial early
screening medical device.
"Its affordability will enable it to be used to diagnose and
monitor Alzheimer's in developing countries as well,"
Professor Martins said.
Next issue: Effects of curcumin.
Source: mivision, October 30, 2012
OPTOMETRISTS... Peter Oswald and Yee
FRIENDS... Anne Johns, Jessica Sander,
Casey Dolan and Lauren Eacott at Jessica's
engagement party held at The Bellagio.
and Tim Wiggins
at the Ministry
of Sound event
PUMPING MUSIC... Jenna Dabinet, Justine
Willis, Kelly Harris, Karina Natt and Belinda
Whittaker enjoy the music at the Ministry of
Sound evening at the Coopers Alehouse, Wallaroo.
GIRLS' NIGHT... Brooke Mayer,
Lindsay Rover and Kyra Linn enjoy a
drink at the Ministry of Sound.
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