Klunk, who was not associated with Frost's study, said this simpler test could be used to help identify people who are candidates to undergo one of the more invasive, expensive tests. He also described Frost's work as a "very important piece of a several-piece puzzle."
Frost's work builds on recent research by teams from Harvard Medical School, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science and the University of Western Australia that linked retinal abnormalities to early-stage Alzheimer's disease.
"The retina is very, very closely related to the brain," Frost explained at the conference. "The tissues that we find are very representative of the tissues of the brain."
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Michael Haederle is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in People, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.