Parkinson’s disease is one of the few diseases known by every single one of us not only because of the large media attention it has attracted, especially in the past few years, but also due to its high frequency among older men and women. One in every five hundred people develops Parkinson’s at some point of his or her life. The percentage may seem very low but the severe consequences of the condition make it a very serious and crucial issue.
Medical scientists have not yet invented a treatment that can block the symptoms completely. To this day, our best option is to detect the disease as early as possible and start fighting it with the methods and products that we have currently available so that it doesn’t get a chance to fully develop.
Fortunately, a great breakthrough allowed experts to take a very big step to the direction of early diagnosis.
A team of researchers based in the University College London developed an astonishingly easy technique to detect some of the earliest known signs of Parkinson’s disease by examining the retina. The retina is the part of the eye that controls sensitivity towards light. It is a characteristic that humans share with almost every single living organism of the animal kingdom.
The best part of this new method is that it does not require any state of the art pieces of equipment or types of gadgets that are very rare or expensive to use. All it takes is a few standard known tools used by every ophthalmologist. This method makes the disease very easy to detect but also allows the medical examiner to monitor the retina of the patients so that, by scheduling regular exams, even the slightest and earliest Parkinson’s symptoms will be immediately located and dealt with.
It may seem insignificant to some people but the importance of this new exam is huge. All we have to do is keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of Parkinson’s patients only get diagnosed after the condition has already advanced to a degree that is not only irreversible, but also guaranteed to get worse as the months go by.
Although the method is still in the developmental stage, we have been granted a great opportunity to block the condition that can affect our daily lives in many different but cruel ways. All it takes is not neglecting the required exam and making sure there are absolutely no indications of creeping up Parkinson’s disease at the time of the visit to the ophthalmologist.