Using AI and the Eyes to Achieve Insights into Alzheimer’s

What if you could detect signs of Alzheimer’s disease 20 years before symptoms develop? With an incredible innovation harnessing Artificial Intelligence, researchers say they could unlock a new era in the diagnosis of this neurological disease that afflicts more than seven million Americans.

That number is predicted to rise, mainly because one of the biggest risk factors for dementia is age. For example, most people who develop dementia are over the age of 65. Dementia will become more common as the “baby boomer” generation ages into their 80s and 90s.

Researchers have studied individual hallmarks of Alzheimer’s, including brain inflammation and neurodegeneration, but the exact causes of the disease remain elusive. While there’s still a significant amount that remains to be understood about the brain and how it works, the power of AI can help connect the dots.

How AI Can Recognize Alzheimer’s Disease

One possible solution is to use machine learning to develop retinal scans and blood tests to identify people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The AI model analyzes eye scans for anomalies like the buildup of certain proteins or blood vessels with a twisted shape, that are associated with Alzheimer’s.

Currently, medical professionals typically use diagnostic tools like PET scans or spinal taps to help detect early signs of Alzheimer’s. However, these diagnostic tools can be invasive and expensive.

With AI, not only can the process of getting a diagnosis be sped up, but it can also be made non-invasive and significantly cheaper.

The AI reads scans from a camera that can be attached to machines already available in most optometrists’ offices. The optometrist would instruct the patient where to look and scan four or five images in each eye.

The camera measures a wider range of the spectrum than the human eye can see, allowing the AI to detect unique optical signatures that correspond with the presence of amyloid in the brain. In a recent study, the model delivered impressive results in seconds: an 80% accuracy in detecting signatures of Alzheimer’s.

AI and the Future of Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosis 🤖

However, there are still obstacles to overcome. The more information AI has, the more powerful it becomes. Medical data is comparatively scarce with a more limited sample to learn from. That means AI’s results can be easily thrown off. The goal would be to make the procedure part of an optometrist’s routine eye exam. And though the future will reap the benefits of this research, taking care of our eyes today is still essential. A good eye doctor can evaluate your eyes and catch issues early when they’re easiest to treat.  That’s why the Vision Plan from NCRGEA and AMBA is so important. The plan covers annual WellVision exams, 100% coverage for most lenses (even progressives!), and has thousands of nationwide in-network providers. Sign up today – acceptance is GUARANTEED! – at or call 800-956-1228.


Want to Take Control of Healthier Aging? These Are the Essential Five Steps 

As we age, we become aware that our physical and mental health, as well as dietary and social needs, changes over time. We can maintain control of our health by making the appropriate adjustments.

5 Steps for Healthier Aging

If you’re ready to take charge of your well-being, these easy to accomplish steps can help you keep your body and mind healthy as you age.

1. Get moving

Maintaining regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

  • Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.
  • Beginning physical activity can be as easy as walking for 10 to 15 minutes for three to four days per week and increasing as you go.
  • Make your physical activity FUN and something you enjoy doing! If making it social will keep you motivated, ask a friend to be your workout buddy.

2. Maintain a healthy diet

Eating right can help you stave off major health issues like obesity and the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

  • Eat appropriate portion sizes.
  • Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and have them make up half of your plate.
  • Avoid excessively processed, especially ultra-processed foods.
  • Stay hydrated- adults should drink between 10-16 cups of water per day, depending on gender, living environment, and activity level.

3. Stay social

Along with increasing cognitive function, and boosting self-confidence and mood, healthy social connections as we get older also improves (and can help even prevent!) symptoms of anxiety and depression.

– Take advantage of technological innovations like attending online or in-person classes (employing appropriate safeguards) that interest you.

– Use Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp, text messaging, and even a good old-fashioned phone call to stay in touch with friends and family.

– Stay in contact with family and friends through in-person meet-ups.

4. Balance your body and mind

Regular exercise for older adults can not only improve overall fitness levels and quality of life, it also reduce the risk of disability or chronic conditions. Participating in regular physical activity has been shown to have a positive effect on both physical and mental well-being for seniors. 

– Maintain a positive attitude.

– Keep your mind active by reading, doing puzzles or other mentally stimulating actions.

– Keep your body active through mindfulness, stretches, yoga and similar pursuits.

5. Be proactive

Receive regular medical, dental, and vision checkups. Many diseases and health issues can be prevented when caught early.

Healthier Aging Starts with Peace of Mind

Life Insurance is the safest path you can take and is something you should have to protect the ones you love. Get a Whole Life policy today to make sure your loved ones are taken care of. You’re guaranteed acceptance, even if you smoke or have weight issues. Plans are available from your very own association and its trusted partner AMBA. Joining is easy: you can purchase your policy online right now. It even includes a no-obligation 60-day return policy. Learn more about a Whole Life Policy through NCRGEA and AMBA at or call 800-956-1228.


How to Help Loved Ones Lower Their Risk of Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. In 2022, approximately 30% of all new women cancer diagnoses will be breast cancer. In 2022, approximately 287,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in women in the U.S. as well as 51,400 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.

Although there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, living a healthy lifestyle may lower the risk.

  1. There is a clear link between alcohol consumption and an increased risk of breast cancer. Having even one alcoholic drink a day may increase risk by 7% to 10%. Two to three drinks have about a 20% higher risk. Though it is best not to drink alcohol, women who do drink should limit and moderate their consumption.
  2. Being overweight or obese after menopause increases breast cancer risk. Maintaining a healthy weight throughout your life and avoiding excess weight gain is another important step that can help reduced the risk of developing breast cancer. Limit foods and drinks that are high in calories, fat, and/or added sugars, and that provide few nutrients.
  3. Evidence is growing that inactivity increases breast cancer risk, especially in women past menopause. It is recommended that adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of these). Getting to or going over the upper limit of 300 minutes is ideal. Limit the time you spend sitting, lying down, watching TV, and looking at your phone or computer. Doing some physical activity on top of your usual activities, no matter what your level of activity, can have many health benefits.

Other factors

Other areas that may potentially increase the risk of breast cancer include the following: not having children, not breastfeeding, birth control methods that utilize hormones, menopausal hormone therapy with estrogen (often combined with progesterone), and breast implants. 

Approximately 1 in 8 women will face a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. It’s just one more good reason to be ready with a Cancer plan from NCRGEA and AMBA. It can help cover the cost of treatments and related expenses like travel and other out-of-pocket costs. To learn more about Cancer Insurance, contact AMBA at 800-956-1228 or request more information at