Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is one of the three so-called trillion-dollar diseases in the world, next to cancer and diabetes. Today, there is still no adequate treatment, but scientists believe that diagnosing in an earlier stage could be the key to better therapy.
The eyes as a window to the brain, that’s the starting point of a new series of studies worldwide to find an alternative diagnose method for Alzheimer’s. As in the brain, the studies focus on finding the accumulation of two proteins - amyloid-beta (Aβ) and Tau – in the eyes. And that’s where hyperspectral imaging (HSI) comes in. Every protein – when struck by light – reflects specific wavelengths. The hyperspectral camera captures this reflected light and analyses this ‘signature’.
Researchers from the Biology Department at KU Leuven, the Ophthalmology research group at UZ Leuven, the Health Unit at VITO, and the hyperspectral group at imec collaborated to integrate some of imec’s hyperspectral cameras with a microscope (for the biologists) and a fundus camera (for the ophthalmologists) to further investigate the hypothesis that Alzheimer’s typical protein accumulations can be detected in the eyes, in a very early stage of disease development.
The results are encouraging and – if successful – the technique could be commercialized in a relatively short timeframe.
Read the full story on www.imechyperspectral.com.
Want to know more?
- Get inspired by imec’s hyperspectral imaging technology and contact our expert.
- Read the paper ‘Hyperspectral Imaging and the Retina:Worth theWave?’ from Lemmens et al.
- Learn more on the topic in the paper ‘Combination of snapshot hyperspectral retinal imaging and optical coherence tomography to identify Alzheimer’s disease patients’ from Lemmens et al. This is the summary of the PhD thesis of Sophie Lemmens which can sent on request.
- Discover more on the fundamental research in the paper ‘The AppNL-G-F mouse retina is a site for preclinical Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis and research’ from Vandenabeele et al.
- This research was done in the framework of the ADMIRE project - Alzheimer's Disease Detection Using Multimodal Imaging of the Retina – and funded through the Mission Lucidity initiative.
- Part of this research work has been co-funded in the context of the HERALD project that was granted by the ATTRACT consortium, which received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (2014-2020). Further, research is funded through a JNPD grant with the university of Melbourne and the Umea University and through a joint PhD program from the KU Leuven and the University of Melbourne.