Friday, February 15, 2013

Diagnosis Multiple sclerosis With a Simple Eye Scan

A simple eye scan could detect Multiple Sclerosis in its early stage, say U.S. researchers of UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system, especially the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Multiple Sclerosis can cause difficulty in strength and muscle control, vision, balance, sensation and disorders of mental function. When this condition occurs, the protective sheath around nerves, called myelin, is attacked and nerves are exposed and inclined to damage.

There are several types of Multiple Sclerosis, the most common being the relapsing-remitting whose symptoms come and go periodically. Although any type of Multiple Sclerosis can not be cured, the evolution of the disease can be slowed by some treatments. Also, monitoring disease may also be difficult because evolution can be unpredictable. Therefore, scientists have looked for new ways to discover and pursue Multiple Sclerosis disease.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a technique used by doctors to measure retinal thickness. The measurement takes only a few minutes and can be done in any medical office. Retinal tomography and optical coherence tomography is a modern, non-invasive, non-contact investigation of the retina that uses coherent light - laser, with which the retina can be scanned and retinal layers could be analyzed.

It give a "optical biopsy" in vivo of retina that provides qualitative and quantitative information about the high resolution all its layers. In a recent clinical study of 164 people with Multiple Sclerosis, through this simple eye scan, scientist could see that patients with thinner layers of the retina have a more active and earlier Multiple Sclerosis.

"This technique offers the possibility to detect structural changes in the central nervous system, helping to diagnose Multiple Sclerosis and to identify a treatment that prevents damage to nerve cells," said Dr. Elliot Frohman, professor of neurology and ophthalmology, co-author of the study published in Annals of Neurology.

OCT measures of retinal nerve fiber thickness. Unlike the rest of the brain's nerve cells, which are covered by myelin, those in the retina shows no such coating. For this reason, experts suggest that nerve cells in the retina can show early signs of Multiple Sclerosis. The researchers look to the future with optimism, hoping that ophthalmologists will be able to use this new diagnostic method to evaluate the retina during a routine eye examination.

According to Multiple Sclerosis Society in the world, a large number of people with Multiple Sclerosis (approximately 45%) are not strongly affected by the disease and live a normal life, and in the first five years of the disease give an overview of the developments.

Multiple Sclerosis is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Among methods of treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, interferon beta and glatiramer acetate have the effect of slowing this disability and reducing the intensity and frequency of outbreaks. Currently, research is focused on developing a treatment to change its course.

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