While the effects of Alzheimer's Disease are startling, diagnosing the mental illness is often difficult. Retirement living seniors who believe they have the disease often endure a series of evaluations, rather than being given one single test.
Now, a group of Boston University scientists may have made a breakthrough in creating a clear-cut Alzheimer's diagnosis.
The researchers discovered that a toxic protein is found in the brains of patients with the disease - as well as people with Down syndrome.
"People with Down syndrome develop symptoms of Alzheimer's-type dementia often by the age of 30," said Lee E. Goldstein, senior corresponding author.
The findings may lead to the development of an eye exam that can prove if a retirement living senior has developed the debilitating mental illness.
The Alzheimer's Association reports that 5.3 billion people are suffering from the disease worldwide. And while a cure for the illness is certainly important, people should rest assured that progress is happening.
"The lens provides a window to the brain," said co-lead author Juliet A. Moncaster.