An eye examination that may lead to an early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease

Illinois [United States], Dec 19 (ANI): A simple eye examination combined with artificial intelligence (AI) learning technology that could provide early detection of Parkinson’s disease, suggests the results of a recent study.

The research is being presented at the annual meeting of the Radical Society of North America (RSNA).

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that affects millions of people worldwide. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms such as tremors, muscle stiffness, and impaired balance – an approach that has major limitations.

“The issue with this approach is that patients typically develop symptoms only after prolonged progression with severe injury to dopamine brain neurons,” said study lead author Maximillian Diaz, a PhD student of biomedical engineering at University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. “This means we diagnose patients late in the infection process. “Progression of disease is marked by zero cell decay that thins the walls of the retina, the layer of material that extends behind the eyeball. The disease also affects the microscopic blood vessels, or microvasculature, of the retina. These features allow the power of AI to accelerate the study of images of the eyes for Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

For the new study, Diaz collaborated with graduate student Jianqiao Tian and University of Florida neurologist Adolfo Ramirez-Zamora, MD, under the direction of Ruogu Fang, PhD, Director of Medical Informatics Learning and Assessment Department of Biomedical Engineering J. Crayton Pruitt Lab ( SMILE).

The researchers applied a type of AI called assisted vector machine learning (SVM) that has been around since 1989. Using images of the back of the eye from both patients with Parkinson’s disease and control partners, trained the SVM to detect signs on the images. idea of ​​disease.

The results showed that the learning networks can classify Parkinson’s disease machines based on retina vasculature, with the main features being smaller blood vessels. The proposed methods support the notion that changes in brain biology can be observed in the eye.

“The single most important finding of this study was that brain disease was diagnosed with a basic picture of the eye,” Diaz said. “This is very different from traditional methods where you get a brain problem that you look at different brain images.” Diaz noted that these traditional imaging techniques with MRI, CT, and nuclear therapy can be very costly. In contrast, the new method uses basic imaging with equipment typically available in eye clinics to obtain an image. The images can be captured even with a smartphone with a special lens.

“It’s just a simple picture of the eye, you can do it in less than a minute, and the cost of the equipment is much less than a CT or MRI machine,” Diaz said. “If we can do this as a screening every year, the hope is that we can catch more cases more quickly, which will help us to better understand the disease and find a cure or a way to slow progress. . “Applications of the method may also indicate other diseases that affect the structure of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis, Diaz said. (ANI)