Earlier work by Dr. Lee Goldstein of Boston University showed that amyloid, the protein that makes up Alzheimer's brain plaque, can be measured in the lens of the eyes of some people with the disease, particularly Down syndrome patients who often are prone to Alzheimer's.
A company he holds stock in, Neuroptix, is testing a laser eye scanner to measure amyloid in the eyes. Goldstein praised the work by the Australian scientists.
Note the published US patent application 20040152068 titled Ocular diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease with abstract:
The invention features a method of diagnosing or providing a prognosis regarding the state of Alzheimer's Disease in a mammal by contacting an ocular tissue with a detectably-labeled compound, which binds to an amyloid protein. An increase in binding of the compound to the ocular tissue compared to a normal control level of binding indicates that the mammal is suffering from or is at risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease.
Priority goes back to 2000:
This application claims priority to U.S. provisional application 60/427,153, filed Nov. 18, 2002 and to U.S. provisional application 60/452,336, filed Mar. 5, 2003; is a continuation in part of U.S. Ser. No. 10/132,779, filed on Apr. 25, 2002, which claims priority to U.S. provisional application 60/287,124, filed Apr. 27, 2001; and is a continuation in part of U.S. Ser. No. 09/935,126, filed on Aug. 21, 2001, which claims priority to U.S. provisional application 60/226,590, filed on Aug. 21, 2000; the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.
See also; 20070038127, with first claim:
A method of diagnosing an amyloidogenic disorder or a predisposition thereto in a mammal, comprising detecting a polypeptide aggregate in a supranuclear or cortical region of an ocular lens, wherein an increase in the amount of said aggregate compared to a normal control value indicates that said mammal is suffering from or is at risk of developing an amyloidogenic disorder.