Dr. Mirza Faisal Beg, Simon Fraser University

  • Dr. Mirza Faisal Beg
Dr. Mirza Faisal Beg, Simon Fraser University2016-10-11T20:29:22+00:00

Project Description

Novel Retinal Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease


Detecting the beginning of Alzheimer’s in an individual’s brain in the early stages is difficult as the changes in behavior are subtle and hidden. Proper diagnosis is the key to successful treatment. Imaging can show that a brain is filled with a protein called amyloid, which accumulates beyond normal limits in Alzheimer’s. However, brain imaging exams for amyloid are expensive, can be invasive, and not widely available. Some studies have suggested that amyloid also accumulates in the retina of individuals with Alzheimer’s, but this has not been proven. We are proposing to develop a new retina imaging device using laser light that can show the presence of amyloid in the retina. Our work could lead to an inexpensive, non-invasive and widely deployable retina exam that could be used to screen individuals on a regular basis for the earliest signs of amyloid in the retina indicative of Alzheimer’s.


Mirza Faisal Beg, Ging-Yuek Hsiung, Marinko Sarunic, Joanne Matsubara, Alan Evans, Gregory Mori, Jinko Graham, Paul Mackenzie, Andrew Merkur, Ian Mackenzie


In December 2013 four organizations came together to develop the British Columbia Alzheimer’s Research Award Program. Brain Canada, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), Genome British Columbia (Genome BC), and The Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation (PARF) put together a $7.5 million fund to seek solutions to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. This was one of the projects being awarded a grant. > Learn more…

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