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Ocular Technology Provides Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

LINTHICUM, MD, December 4, 2018 – Recent study from JAMA Ophthalmology finds that a specific type of non-invasive eye testing procedure helps assess risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

One in 10 Americans over the age 65 has Alzheimer’s, while one-third over the age of 85 have the disease. Fortunately, research now shows that eye doctors can detect small alterations in retinal blood vessels that are known to be a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease years before it begins to affect memory.

“By using a non-invasive technique known as optical coherence tomographic angiography (OCT-A), researchers looked at a variety of optical biomarkers from people with known preclinical Alzheimer’s and those without,” says Dr. Mark Ruchman, CMO, Versant Health. “They found that people in the very early stages of the disease consistently had changes to the retina. As such, the OCT-A holds promise for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease for patients at risk, possibly before symptoms of cognitive decline appear.”
“The reality is one in every five Medicare dollars goes to someone with Alzheimer’s disease,” says Elizabeth Klunk, RN, BSN, CCM; VP Medical Management, Versant Health. “Early detection through the non-invasive OCT-A eye exam offers hope to patients and their families.”
As a trusted leader in the managed eye care industry, Versant Health monitors current research and emerging technology, procedures, practices, and protocols that show promise for improving health outcomes for our members.

About Versant Health

Versant Health, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MetLife, Inc., is one of the nation’s leading administrators of managed vision care, serving more than 41 million of our clients’ members nationwide. Through our Davis Vision and Superior Vision independent provider networks, we help members access the wonders of sight through healthy eyes and vision. Administering vision and eye health solutions that range from access to routine vision benefits to medical management, Versant Health has unique visibility and scale across the total eye health spectrum. As a result, our clients’ members enjoy a seamless experience with access to one of the broadest provider networks in the industry and an exclusive frame collection. Commercial groups, employer plans, and health plans that serve government-sponsored programs such as Medicaid and Medicare are among our valued customers.

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