Doctors may now be able to test for Alzheimer's disease before many of the common symptoms develop.
A simple eye test could be used in place of MRI exams or post-mortem evaluations to effectively detect the condition.
Researchers have discovered that fluorescent dyes can attach to dying cells within the retina of the eye.
Those weakened cells seem to correlate to dying cells in the brain, one of the effects of Alzheimer's.
"Few people realize that the retina is a direct, albeit thin, extension of the brain," Professor Francesca Coredeiro, lead author from University College London Institute of Ophthalmology said in a statement. "It is entirely possible that in the future a visit to [an] optician to check on your eyesight will also be a check on the state of your brain."
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) suggests that early detection is beneficial, and might increase the effectiveness of Alzheimer's care.
Currently, five to 10 percent of Americans age 65 and older suffer from the disease, according to the HHS.