High street sight test could provide early indication of dementia

You may have seen a story in the news today related to British research that indicates sight tests could soon be used to detect the early signs of dementia.

A team from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and Oxford University used eye scans to measure the thickness of a layer of neurons on the retina at the back of the eye.

Scientists measured this layer among 33,000 patients aged 40 to 69 – while carrying out a series of tests on memory, reaction time and reasoning.

Those with a thinner layer of neurons were more likely to perform poorly on cognitive tests – which could indicate the early stages of dementia.

Our Clinical Adviser, Dr Susan Blakeney, spoke with The Times about the research and her comment was published in the front page article today. You can read it here, and the text is included below:

Susan Blakeney, of the College of Optometrists said that once the findings had been confirmed and clear “danger” levels of thinning had been set, it would be straightforward to include dementia tests in check-ups. “It takes a matter of seconds,” she said.