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December 26, 2012

A new fast and easy way to reveal extent of multiple sclerosis


_64932318_eye-spl-1.jpgPromising news for MS patients. A team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine report that a simple eye test ('OCT' - Optical Coherence Tomography) may offer a fast and easy way to monitor patients with multiple sclerosis.

[...] Scientists have been looking for additional ways to track MS, and believe OCT may be a contender.

OCT measures the thickness of nerve fibres housed in the retina at the back of the eye.

Unlike nerve cells in the rest of the brain which are covered with protective myelin, the nerve cells in the retina are bare with no myelin coat.

Experts suspect that this means the nerves here will show the earliest signs of MS damage.

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.

Study author Dr Peter Calabresi said OCT may show how fast MS is progressing. ...

Posted by Hyscience at December 26, 2012 9:20 AM

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