It is now thought that the first way Parkinson’s Disease can be detected is through the thinning of the retina. There is also a correlation between how thin the retina is and how far the disease has progressed. Scientists hope to use this to develop a scan to detect the disease early, even before the patient has shown symptoms. The study included 49 people with known Parkinson’s and slightly more control subjects. They found that a bigger study is needed, as this one had a few negative points. It was relatively small, it only focused on a small part of the retina, and it didn’t follow the same patients through time to see if the trend continued.

Key Takeaways:

  • Deterioration in visual orientation– the ability to judge the space around you or between objects may make moving around difficult
  • Parkinson’s affects movement that can include movement of the eyes. This in turn may affect vision. Everybody experiences Parkinson’s differently and only some people will experience vision problems.
  • Older people and those with memory (cognitive) problems are more likely to have hallucinations

“The eyes may be a window to the brain for people with early Parkinson’s disease. People with the disease gradually lose brain cells that produce dopamine, a substance that helps control movement.”

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