In a March 13, 2019 Reuters Health publication from Duke University, researchers found an ultrasensitive scanning technique to detect Alzheimer’s disease in the back of the eye. Small retinal blood vessels were altered in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This was not found in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or in those with no signs of mental decline. This was reported in the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
When providers are challenged with patients showing symptoms of dementia, it may be necessary to differentially diagnose sooner rather than later so valuable time is not lost in choosing appropriate treatment. Referral to ophthalmology could help establish early care. Inter-collegial communication to assist patients with best practice referrals can have a practice building effect. Co-management produces better patient care and happier patients, while educating local healthcare providers to appreciate the level of diagnostic expertise of integrative healthcare providers.