Spanish technique detects Alzheimer's in cataracts

The method designed by the doctor Celia Sánchez-Ramos It allows detecting Alzheimer's through peptides found in the waste extracted from the crystalline eye after the cataract operations. It is the first method non-invasive Y Useful in living people since, to date, the diagnosis of this disease could only be determined with certainty after the death of the patient, based on an analysis of the brain tissue .

Although it is not a method of early diagnostic , because the test detects signs of the disease when it is already present, it does allow "early treatment, even in patients who still have no symptoms of Alzheimer's disease," he said. Sánchez-Ramos .

The procedure is already offered to patients in several public and private hospitals in the Community of Madrid and could be marketed in the future. In Spain , between 260 and 300 thousand people undergo this type of surgery annually.


How was the idea of ​​this method generated?

The Dr. Sánchez-Ramos indicates as the origin of his study the research of the American biologist Lee E. Goldstein , professor at Boston University, who determined that there are deposits in the hippocampus peptides (beta amyloid proteins). These peptides are found to a greater extent in Alzheimer's patients and are located in the lens in the same proportion as in the brain . Research Goldsdtein led to the Spanish doctor Sánchez-Ramos to think that the waste of the operating rooms after the operations of cataracts, could be transformed into samples in which to look for those peptides. "From now on, cataract operations will not only help the eyes to be more transparent and that the elderly can see better, but also to detect Alzheimer's as soon as possible and be able to perform the treatment precocious way ", he pointed. According to the researcher, more than thirty patient samples have already been analyzed. The results are obtained in one day. The invention, led by the also professor of the Complutense University of Madrid and candidate for Prince of Asturias Awards of Scientific and Technical Research, was patented in July 2009 and has recently been published internationally, coinciding with the "World Year of Alzheimer's".