In a new study from Indiana University, researchers found new biomarkers in the eyes could unlock the key to helping manage diabetic retinopathy, and perhaps even diabetes.
During its early stages, diabetes can affect the eyes before the changes are detectable with a regular clinical examination.
However, the new retinal research found that these changes can be measured earlier than previously thought with specialized optical techniques and computer analysis.
The ability to detect biomarkers for this sight-threatening condition may lead to the early identification of people at risk for diabetes or visual impairment, as well as improve physicians’ ability to manage these patients.
Diabetic retinopathy, which is caused by changes in the blood vessels in the retina, is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in U.S. adults.
From 2010 to 2050, the number of Americans with diabetic retinopathy is expected to nearly double, from 7.7 million to 14.6 million.
The current study is part of the current widespread emphasis on detection of diabetic retinopathy through artificial intelligence applied to retinal images.
However, some of these algorithms provide detection based on features that occur much later than the changes found in this study.
In the study, the team used data collected from volunteers with diabetes, along with healthy participants.
The computer analysis was performed on retinal image data commonly collected in well-equipped clinics, but much of the information used in this study is often ignored for diagnosis or management of patients.
The team says their method can be combined with the other AI methods to provide early information localized to specific retinal layers or types of tissues, which allows inclusion of information not analyzed in the other algorithms.
If you care about eye health, please read studies about could supplements improve your eye health and vision? and findings of how the eyes could be windows to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
For more information about eye diseases, please see recent studies about common bladder drug may harm your eye health and vision and results showing that high blood pressure may cause more diabetic eye treatments.
The study is published in PLOS One. One author of the study is Ann E. Elsner.
Copyright © 2021 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.