Aging is a process of which all animals go through, which will the lead to the eventual death if no fatal situations are involved.
The way in which a person ages can be associated with 3 common factors; lifestyle, genetics and environmental factors. A common genetically passed down disease associated with aging is Alzheimer’s disease (AD), this is a progressive neurodegenerative disease in which causes degeneration of the nervous system and can particularly affect the neurons in the brain. AD can cause issues with both an individual’s physical and mental health; ataxis (movement problems) and different forms of dementias (a decline in mental function). Due to the decline in both these areas this disease can be the cause of death in some patients.
There is no known cure for AD but when diagnosed early it is easier to understand and manage. There are multiple factors which can increase ones chance of AD diagnosis such as lifestyle choices resulting in particularly, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A common symptom of diabetes and also a recognisable issue later in Alzheimer’s disease is visual decline. AD has often been referred to as the 3rd type of Diabetes, in a review article by De Felice, Lourenco and Ferreira (2014) they stated that there are many key pathological features which are present in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and Diabetes such as insulin resistance, altered metabolism and inflammation.
The eye shares many neural and vascular similarities to the brain and can thus be used as an inexpensive way to look into the pathology of the brain. The area of the eye that is most looked at in regards to showing abnormalities in relation to AD is the retina. A research article done by Hinton et al is one of the first histological standpoints in evidence towards retinal abnormalities, whereby the brain and retina of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and those without who were age-related (they were used as controls) were compared.