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Imaging the Retina to Detect early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Today, 46.8 million people in the world suffer from age-related cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia (ADRD). Millions more, worried about their cognitive health, have no medical outlet to go and seek legitimate support and answers. With worldwide neurologists’ shortage and no widely accessible biomarkers to support diagnosis, primary care physicians are often ill-equipped to attend to the need of the large population that is expected to grow with population ageing. This results in late identification of people with cognitive impairment denying them the right to be strong advocates for themselves and their opportunity to participate in relevant clinical trials for potential treatments.

Through its Retinal Deep PhenotypingTM platform, based on its USA-FDA 510(k) cleared hyperspectral retinal camera and image analysis algorithm, which received USA-FDA Breakthrough Device Designation in 2019, Photon etc.’s partner, Optina Diagnostics is offering an accurate, simple and non-invasive optical test via its near-patient eye clinic network.

Optina Retinal Deep Phenotyping™ platform is composed of a hyperspectral camera and image analysis software (AI algorithm) to detect early signs of pathologies having manifestations in the fundus of the eye. The hyperspectral retinal camera is based on a custom-built mydriatic fundus camera incorporating a tunable laser source based on Photon etc.’s Bragg grating filtering technology (see Figure 1).

Schematic of Optina hyperspectral imaging system based on Photon etc.’s Bragg tunable filter technology. a) First the light from the tunable source illuminates a broad retina’s field of view, b) then the light reflected from the retina is captured by the hyperspectral camera resulting in a spatial and spectral rich dataset. c) Two examples of specific wavelength retinal images, each wavelength detects different retinal features.
Fig. 1 - Schematic of Optina hyperspectral imaging system based on Photon etc.’s Bragg tunable filter technology. a) First the light from the tunable source illuminates a broad retina’s field of view, b) then the light reflected from the retina is captured by the hyperspectral camera resulting in a spatial and spectral rich dataset. c) Two examples of specific wavelength retinal images, each wavelength detects different retinal features.

This results in an instrument capable of imaging the retina on a broad field-of-view at several wavelengths in approximately one second. Images of the retina are sequentially obtained for different monochromatic illumination wavelengths in order to build a hyperspectral cube of data, through spatial and spectral dimensions. After the image registration, an optical spectrum can be extracted from each pixel of the image. This spectral-rich information, which complements the observed anatomical structures, supports the identification of specific biomarkers of diseases having manifestations in the retina.

Optina's first application is aimed at detecting the likely cerebral PET Beta-amyloid (Aβ) status for Alzheimer’s disease. The R&D team continues to develop the company biomarkers panel.

Optina’s vision is changing the status quo by becoming a key element of early-stage Brain Health diagnosis and patient care continuum.

For more information, contact info@optinadx.com

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OptinaDx Retinal Deep Phenotyping platform™