The Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) received $600,00 from American philanthropists including Bill Gates and MacKenzie Bezos. The Melbourne, Australia group has developed a non-invasive, cost effective eye test to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. By utilizing colored light, the investigators can look for plaque at the back of the eye. To date, Alzheimer’s disease is not easily diagnosed.
The world-first eye scan trial will use technology like that used in NASA satellites. Investigators will probe for abnormal proteins that accumulate in the brain via the retina. If successful, physicians would be able to detect Alzheimer’s long before any symptoms show up. Taking less than a second of imaging time, the ease and expediency of the study represents huge potential given the magnitude of the Alzheimer’s challenge.
The test is being offered to middle-aged adult volunteers who have a history of Alzheimer’s disease reports ABCAustralia.
The Technology & Inventor
By utilizing a spectrum of colors they are seeking to detect an accumulations of proteins in the back of the eye. Dr. Xavier Hadoux co-developed the potentially revolutionary way to detect Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Hadoux noted “The test can identify people at risk of the disease and open the way to new treatments and hopefully a cure.”
Dr.Hadoux is a Postdoc research fellow at the Centre for Eye Research in Melbourne. His research has focused on using the eye as a biomarker for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma. He is particularly interested in making clinicians job easier to detect diseases earlier in their progression by utilizing novel imaging technology such as retinal hyperspectral imaging.
Research Site: The Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA)
CERA’s vision includes its mission to become one of the world’s-leading eye research institute renowned for the discovery of the causes of eye diseases as well as life-impacting improvements to diagnosis, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of eye disease, vision loss and blindness through research, clinical work and teaching.
CERA was established in 1996 and has grown into Australia’s leading eye research institute. Led by internationally renowned glaucoma specialist Professor Jonathan Crowston as Managing Director, CERA today has an international team of more than 140 staff and students working to save sign for millions of people worldwide affected by eye disease.
Professor Hugh Taylor was also a driving force in the inception of the organization and served as its leader for ten years. His deputy, Professor Tien Wong succeeded him in the leadership role before returning to Singapore in 20019 as Director of the Singapore Eye Research Institute.
Structurally, CERA is a limited company, governed by a Board of Directors from the following institutions:
- The University of Melbourne
- The Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital
- The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
- Vision Australia
- CBM Australia
- Glaucoma Australia
- Diabetes Australia-Vic