Taking a selfie could help identify if you have Alzheimer’s or ADHD

YOUR selfie shot can be useful in detecting serious illnesses.

Scientists say imaging your eye can show signs of Alzheimer’s as well as ADHD.

Taking a selfie could help spot signs of illness, scientists say


Taking a selfie could help spot signs of illness, scientists sayCredit: Alamy

Pupil size can provide information about a person’s neurological functions, recent research has shown.

For example, the pupils get bigger (dilate) when a person performs a difficult cognitive task or hears an unexpected noise.

A pupillary reaction test can measure changes in pupil size and provide clues to a person’s brain function.

But it is currently only available in a clinical setting with expensive instruments.

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Researchers at the University of California San Diego have now made such tests possible at home.

They have developed a smartphone app that captures close-up images of a person’s eye.

Colin Barry, a PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC San Diego, said, “I’m excited about the potential of using this technology to bring neurological screening out of clinical laboratory settings and into the home.

“We hope this opens the door to novel explorations of using smartphones to detect and monitor potential health problems earlier.”

In an article co-authored by Mr. Barry, the researchers explained how the app technology works.

The app uses a near-infrared camera that is built into newer smartphones for face recognition.

It also requires the user to take a regular selfie with their camera.

According to experts, the app can calculate pupil size for different eye colors with sub-millimetre accuracy.

The measurements were comparable to those of a pupillometer, the gold standard for measuring pupil size.

Eric Granholm, a professor of psychiatry at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, said the product “can help identify and understand diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.”

Used as a screening tool, it “could have a huge public health impact,” he said.

Older adults are most at risk of developing Alzheimer’s – the most common form of dementia.

So the research team tested their app on a group of elders to make sure it was easy to use for them. Taking a selfie could help identify if you have Alzheimer’s or ADHD

Sarah Y. Kim

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