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Philanthropy's role in the detection of Alzheimer's disease

We were delighted to welcome the Trustees of the H & L Hecht Trust, managed by Perpetual, to the Eye and Ear. The Trustees, Chairman, Graeme Johnson and Ross McPherson and Perpetual’s Caitriona Fay and Daniel Tome attended a presentation of a research project they funded in 2015 and 2016.

Principal Investigator Dr Peter Van Wijngaarden and his research team, Dr Xavier Hadoux and Dr Flora Hui, presented the preliminary results of the detection of amyloid beta in hyperspectral imaging of the retina. Amyloid beta is present in the brains of people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease by PET scan. The trustees were very interested in the initial results.

Chairman Graeme Johnson said he was “excited by the prospect of having an early detection test for Alzheimer’s”. The initial results look promising, however, the research team will undertake another proof-of-principle study. If the results are confirmed, this work may form the basis of a screening test for Alzheimer’s disease.