Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Simple eye test measures damage from multiple sclerosis, researchers find

Date:
June 8, 2010
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
A quick, painless eye measurement shows promise as a way to diagnose multiple sclerosis in its very early stages, and to track the effectiveness of treatments, researchers have found in a multicenter study.

A quick, painless eye measurement shows promise as a way to diagnose multiple sclerosis in its very early stages, and to track the effectiveness of treatments, researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have found in a multicenter study.

Related Articles


"This technique has the potential to provide a powerful and reliable assessment strategy to measure structural changes in the central nervous system, both for diagnostic purposes and in clinical trials to monitor whether potential treatments can prevent deterioration or restore nerve function," said Dr. Elliot Frohman, professor of neurology and ophthalmology, director of the Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Center at UT Southwestern and co-senior author of the study, which appears in the June issue of Annals of Neurology.

The technique, called optical coherence tomography (OCT), reliably measures thinning of the retina in people with multiple sclerosis, the researchers found.

"An ophthalmologist might someday be able to use OCT to identify retinal thinning during a routine eye exam and consider MS as a prime diagnosis," Dr. Frohman said. "However, this prospect is a long way off."

The retina, which lines the back of the eye, detects light and sends visual information to the brain via the optic nerve. Retinal thinning can occur as a result of multiple sclerosis, but this study, Dr. Frohman said, is the first to track such thinning over time in a single group of patients. The Neurology study involved 299 patients with MS who were tracked for six months to 4.5 years.

The researchers found that the retinas thinned significantly with time, and patients often concurrently lost visual sharpness. Overall, the study indicated that OCT is reliable, easy to use and sensitive to changes over time. It could also be used with current clinical measures, the researchers said.

Because the retina is easily visible through the pupil, it provides a convenient route for assessing nerve damage, compared with other parts of the body. As a result, retinal measurement might be able to pick up signs of multiple sclerosis before a person develops other symptoms, Dr. Frohman said.

OCT machines already are available. Patients look into a device similar to those that measure vision for corrective lenses. Near-infrared light, which is invisible to the eye, penetrates the retina and provides information on its thickness. The measurement takes a few seconds for each eye.

In addition to the OCT testing, patients in the latest study looked at eye charts so the researchers could test their vision. Control subjects came from the patients' families and clinics' staff.

Future studies are needed to ascertain whether OCT can characterize the effectiveness of treatments, Dr. Frohman said.

Other UT Southwestern researchers in neurology involved in the study were Gina Remington, clinical research coordinator; Amy Conger, neuro-ophthalmic imaging specialist; and Teresa Frohman, clinic research manager.

The research was a joint project with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Researchers from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, also participated.

The study was funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the National Institutes of Health, DAD's Foundation and the McNeill Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lauren S. Talman, Esther R. Bisker, David J. Sackel, David A. Long, Kristin M. Galetta, John N. Ratchford, Deacon J. Lile, Sheena K. Farrell, Michael J. Loguidice, Gina Remington, Amy Conger, Teresa C. Frohman, Dina A. Jacobs, Clyde E. Markowitz, Gary R. Cutter, Gui-Shuang Ying, Yang Dai, Maureen G. Maguire, Steven L. Galetta, Elliot M. Frohman, Peter A. Calabresi, Laura J. Balcer. Longitudinal study of vision and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in MS. Annals of Neurology, 2010; DOI: 10.1002/ana.22005

Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Simple eye test measures damage from multiple sclerosis, researchers find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607165742.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2010, June 8). Simple eye test measures damage from multiple sclerosis, researchers find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607165742.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Simple eye test measures damage from multiple sclerosis, researchers find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607165742.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

AP (Oct. 31, 2014) Officials in the Washington area showed off Ebola response measures being taken at Dulles International Airport and the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins