AI can detect signs of Parkinson’s through 3D eye scans, according to a study.

AI can detect signs of Parkinson's through 3D eye scans, according to a study.

3D Eye Scans: A Revolutionary Tool for Early Detection of Parkinson’s Disease

Eye Scan

Advancements in medical technology and computing power have paved the way for innovative approaches to diagnosing health conditions. One such breakthrough is the use of 3D eye scans to detect signs of Parkinson’s disease years before clinical symptoms appear. A recent study conducted by researchers from UCL and Moorfields Eye Hospital in London has showcased the remarkable potential of this technology.

Eye scans have been utilized in the medical field to identify various health conditions for some time now. However, recent advancements in ocular health monitoring technology, coupled with the power of artificial intelligence (AI), have expanded the scope of diagnoses. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans, a type of 3D scan, have played an instrumental role in this progress.

OCT scans offer detailed cross-sections of the retina, providing remarkable precision of up to one thousandth of a millimeter in less than a minute. This non-intrusive method allows for the observation of cell layers beneath the skin’s surface. In the study, the research team analyzed OCT scans from two extensive databases: the AlzEye and the UK Biobank dataset, comprising an impressive total of 222,141 individuals.

The results of the study confirmed previous findings that Parkinson’s patients exhibit a thinner ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GCIPL). The data also uncovered atrophies of the inner nuclear layer (INL). Additionally, the researchers discovered that the reduced thickness of both these layers is associated with the development of Parkinson’s disease. These findings provide valuable insight into the early stages of the disease and open new opportunities for early detection.

Lead author, Dr. Siegfried Wagner, expresses optimism about the future potential of this method as a pre-screening tool for individuals at risk of Parkinson’s disease. Early detection of various diseases allows individuals to make lifestyle changes to prevent certain conditions from arising. Moreover, clinicians can intervene and delay the onset and impact of life-changing neurodegenerative disorders.

In a separate development, the study’s senior author, Professor Pearse Keane, and his team have secured funding from UK Research and Innovation to scale and validate the foundation model. This funding will support further research and ensure the reliability and effectiveness of 3D eye scans for diagnosing Parkinson’s disease.

The study’s findings contribute to the expanding field of “oculomics,” which leverages machine learning and data from eye scans to reveal signs of various diseases, including Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. The ability to detect these illnesses at an early stage presents new opportunities for proactive healthcare and personalized treatment plans.


The potential of 3D eye scans goes beyond diagnostics. This technology holds promising implications for boosting overall health awareness and prevention strategies. By identifying signs of diseases before symptoms manifest, individuals can take proactive steps to maintain their well-being. Furthermore, the application of 3D eye scans in healthcare could lead to significant advancements in the field of neurology and help researchers better understand the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

In conclusion, the use of 3D eye scans, specifically OCT scans, offers a groundbreaking approach to detect signs of Parkinson’s disease years in advance. This technology, combined with AI analysis, allows for the early identification of specific layers in the retina that correlate with the development of the disease. As research continues to advance, 3D eye scans have the potential to become a pre-screening tool for at-risk individuals, saving lives, and alleviating the burden of neurodegenerative disorders. The future of ocular health monitoring looks bright, with the promise of early detection and improved quality of life for countless individuals.