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Timely connection

Life Science

Bears can teach us about blood sugar levels. If our blood sugar – or blood pressure – is too high, it can lead to chronic kidney disease.

Early detection is rare, however, since the disease can be symptomless at the start. Enter an Edinburgh-based research team and its high-resolution 3D eye scans.

By laser scanning retinal tissue – aka optical coherence tomography (OCT) – and examining the highly-magnified images, they unearthed a staggering connection.

Simply: as kidney function declines, the retina becomes thinner. A kidney transplant can reverse this process.

Regular monitoring of the retina could help detect early-stage kidney disease and assess the efficacy of diabetes medication.

Using AI to analyse the blood vessels in the eye could likewise be a crucial development.

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