Hemel Hempstead, UK – The role of SPECTRALIS® in pioneering research was cemented at the latest Heidelberg Engineering Academy event. Professor John Nolan, Principal Investigator at the Vision Research Centre, Waterford Institute of Technology, presented his latest research on the relationship between cognitive function and macular pigment density measured using SPECTRALIS at the Optometric Faculty Launch on Sunday 7th February in London.
The team at Waterford has found that carotenoids impact on cognitive function¹ and patients with Alzheimer’s disease are more likely to be seriously deficient in carotenoids, key nutrients in the eye, than others in their age group².
“A study looking at the impact of carotenoid supplementation on vision in patients with Alzheimer’s disease showed that patients using supplements that are rich in carotenoids experienced improved vision as their macular pigment was boosted2”, explained Professor Nolan. “The next phase of the research will follow a cohort of patients with early signs of cognitive decline over a three-year period to investigate whether taking specific supplements can arrest the decline in and improve their cognitive function”, he continued.
Macular pigment can be qualitatively assessed and monitored over time to using SPECTRALIS with the BluePeak Autofluorescence Module combined with TruTrack Active Eye Tracking. The Macular Pigment Density Module for SPECTRALIS used by Professor Nolan will allow quantitative measurement of macular pigment. It is currently under development and not for sale, but will be available as an upgrade to all expandable SPECTRALIS imaging platforms in the future, proving SPECTRALIS, once again, to be a safe investment.
- Feeney, J. et al. Low macular pigment optical density is associated with lower cognitive performance in a large, population-based sample of older adults. Neurobiol Aging. 34, 2449-56 (2013)
- Nolan, J. et al. The impact of supplemental macular carotenoids in Alzheimer’s disease: a randomized clinical trial. J Alzheimers Dis. 44,1157-69 (2015)