Now, simple eye scan that can reveal extent of multiple sclerosis
A simple eye test may offer a fast and easy way to monitor patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), medical experts have claimed.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a scan that measures the thickness of the lining at the back of the eye, the retina, which takes a few minutes per eye and can be performed in a doctor's surgery.
In a trial involving 164 people with MS, those with thinning of their retina had earlier and more active MS, the BBC reported.
Accor4ding to a team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, larger trials with a long follow up are needed to judge how useful the test might be in everyday practice.
The latest study tracked the patients' disease progression over a two-year period.
Multiple sclerosis is an illness that affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord causing problems with muscle movement, balance and vision.
In MS, the protective sheath or layer around nerves, called myelin, comes under attack which, in turn, leaves the nerves open to damaged.
The study at Johns Hopkins found that people with MS relapses had much faster thinning of their retina than people with MS who had no relapses. So too did those whose level of disability worsened.
Similarly, people with MS who had inflammatory lesions that were visible on brain scans also had faster retinal thinning than those without visible brain lesions.
The study has been published in the journal Neurology.