Monday, May 13, 2024

Non-invasive and accessible testing can detect symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease long before symptoms occur

Physics professor’s technology set to be a game changer in early Alzheimer's diagnosis

This is a pretty obvious tech patch that should have been tackled a long time ago, but better late than never.

however, we can now also apply AI methods to the data itself which will be something like a corona mapping.  this can unravel lots of connections certainly hinted at in the past.

We need to do corona mapping and then produce a list of known indicated medical issues along with a related probability.

The most important will be circulatory disease which is inflamation settled down by high doses of vitimin C.

This followed up by extensive blood work and vassaying as is done by naturapaths can provide a wonderful diagnostic system.

Non-invasive and accessible testing can detect symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease long before symptoms occur

By Katie McQuaid
Faculty of Science

Melanie Campbell
Professor, Faculty of Science

> Cross-appointed to the School of Optometry and to the Department of System Design Engineering

Imagine the possibility of detecting Alzheimer's disease up to 15 years before the onset of symptoms. By using retinal imaging available through a telehealth model, University of Waterloo physics professor Dr. Melanie Campbell and her company LumeNeuro are looking to change the game in the early detection of Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases for those who might not otherwise have access to life-changing care.

Knowing about multiple diseases is important to creating the best treatment plan. Using polarized light, LumeNeuro’s device detects multiple types of protein deposits in the retina that act as biomarkers for Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases. The device does not use any dyes on the eyes, which means patients can be in and out within 10 minutes and still receive life-altering results. The device produces images that highlight proteins long before symptoms occur. Early detection can enable patients and their health care teams to create long-term plans to slow the onset of symptoms.

Campbell and her team knew they were onto something, so they decided to submit their idea to the second annual Alzheimer's Association Pitch Competition powered by MATTER — a premier health care incubator and innovation hub. They were chosen as one of the top five submissions and spent six weeks in the MATTER incubator honing their pitch, in response to the challenge “How can we increase access to quality, person-centred care for underserved people living with Alzheimer’s disease?”

“We learned a lot in those six weeks and took all the advice our advisor shared about how to best highlight our work and the difference it could make to the health care of those in underserviced communities,” Campbell says. “Because people with less access to care are more impacted by Alzheimer’s, we wanted to focus on the difference we could make in those communities first, so, we pitched a telehealth solution to be taken into community centers.”

Their hard work paid off and they scored second place in the competition. Next, they want to bring their technology into Federally Qualified Health Clinics in rural and inner-city areas across the U.S. and to similar clinics in Canada. In addition, the instrument could be used in memory clinics along with optometrist and ophthalmology clinics worldwide.

Placing the machines in these locations gives more people access to an earlier diagnosis of brain diseases and most importantly, enables earlier treatments and interventions known to slow the progression of these conditions. Because the machine is small enough to be placed in existing clinics and operated by a trained technician instead of a physician, their technology works in a more accessible telehealth model. The technician takes the images on-site, sends them virtually to a diagnostic centre to be analyzed, and the results can be sent back to the patient’s family doctor on the same day.

“Our research tells us that people in underserviced areas are often diagnosed too late after the onset of Alzheimer's and other brain diseases for newer medications and treatment plans to make a big difference in slowing the progression of the disease — if they are diagnosed at all,” Campbell shares. “Having this device readily available to millions more people would change how we diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases.” Compared to the current blood testing methods, the LumeNeuro technology is less expensive, and it has the potential to be effective in the diagnoses of other diseases, like Parkinson’s.

“With 300 million people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases in the world, we know the need for this type of testing is high, especially as our population ages,” Campbell says. “We are looking forward to moving into the next stage of research and are currently working with a German ophthalmic manufacturer to create a prototype based on our patents.”

Once the prototype is complete, Campbell will set up a testing centre at Waterloo and hopes to collaborate with hospitals in Ontario to begin working with patients to start changing lives.

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