Did You Know | Health

Doctors Have Discovered A Way To Spot A Fatal Brain Disease In Patients' Eyes

Pixabay - SofieZborilova

It can get a little bit overwhelming when you think about all of the scary diseases that are out there without a cure.

While most people are familiar with cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, there are some other conditions out there that don't receive as much public attention.

One of these rarely spoken of diseases is called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), and while it's rare, it is very scary.

The disease has been linked to beef contaminated with mad cow, and is almost impossible to confirm in a patient.

It's symptoms include changes in the personality, anxiety, depression, memory loss, impaired thinking, blurred vision, insomnia, difficulties speaking and swallowing, and loss of control over body movements.

Currently, there is no cure or treatment for CJD, and the only way to confirm it is by testing brain tissue after a person dies. However, researchers have made a discovery that may greatly impact this horrible illness and give them a better chance at finding treatment.

Researchers have finally found something that they can test before a patient passes away, and it's all in the eyes.

New evidence found that of all of the 11 patients who donated their eyes to science after their passing all had the same infectious proteins called prions in their eyes.

These prions were found in all of the eight regions of the eye they tested, including the cornea, lens, ocular fluid, retina, choroid, sclera, optic nerve, and extraocular muscle.

The highest concentration was found in the retina, but the exciting thing about this is that doctors may now have a way to confirm the diagnosis and even detect it early on.

Researchers believe that a simple eye test involving electrical responses can be used to discover the disease early on, which may lead to treatment or even a cure down the line.

Another thing that this infection may indicate is that there may have been some kind of contagious element to it. Researchers are cautioning that it confirms the important of single-use instruments and intensive decontamination procedures.

So while this is still kind of a scary disease, it's really fascinating to know that scientists have been able to go back to old cases and find this connection. As testing advances they will be able to find out more and more, and maybe one day find a cure.

Source - Fox News / Live Science / IFLScience / MayoClinic

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Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at tanya@shared.com