Problem: 1/3 Americans born today will live to 100. That’s really great but cognitive decline begins at 30 and it’s just a matter of time before dementia develops. Alzheimer’s specifically accounts for 70% of dementia cases and has no treatment. Alzheimer’s costs the US healthcare system $200 Billion dollars today and if no treatment is developed will bankrupt the healthcare system in a short period of time.
Solution: Keith has developed an early diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s that could catch the disease 20 years before it begins damaging cognitive function. The simple test could be widely used at eye exams, allowing 50 or 60 year olds to know if they’re developing Alzheimer’s and to take simple actions that will delay the onset of the disease by 10 to 15 years.
Breakthrough technology that could make it happen: The hallmark of Alzheimer’s is a protein called beta amyloid that begins accumulating in the brain 20 years before the symptoms present themselves. Keith has discovered a way to image these plaques in the back of the retina, which should enable a inexpensive, eye exam to check for the disease.
Curcumin (the yellow Indian spice) can cross the blood brain barrier and can be used to tag the amyloid plaques.
2.5 years ago they used this method to detect Alzheimers in rats via retina imaging.
Checked human cadavers and found that beta amyloid in the back of the retina matched the amyloid in the brain.
They tested on living humans and confirmed it worked and created an index to determine how far along the Alzheimer’s is.
What Early Treatment for Alzheimer’s with Early Detection of Early Stage Disease
Early detection could allow treatments that are ineffective for late stage disease to be more effective on the early stages.
The Retinal test will also be detect if the Almyloid is decreasing to measure which treatments work best.
Solution could save trillions of health dollars and enable people to avoid late stage Alzheimer’s by delaying the disease by 10-20 years and accelerate the development of cures.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.