Vision: New Scanner May Improve
Exams for Multiple Sclerosis
By ERIC NAGOURNEY
Published: October 16, 2007
A machine that can quickly assess the state of nerve fibers in the retina
may offer a better way to measure the progression of multiple sclerosis
than the M.R.I. examinations now used, researchers said yesterday.
Writing in Neurology, the researchers said the machine used a method known
as optical coherence tomography to measure the thickness of the nerve
fibers, which shrink as multiple sclerosis progresses.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Peter Calabresi of Johns Hopkins, said
the problem with M.R.I. scans for multiple sclerosis patients was that
they measured brain shrinkage, a symptom that tends to occur in the later
stages of the disease.
A test that shows changes in the retinal nerve fibers would allow doctors
to begin treatment earlier, although the changes can signal other problems
besides multiple sclerosis. It may also allow researchers developing new
drugs against the disease to see how well they work.
The eye scans take just five minutes and are far simpler than M.R.I.ís.
They are also much less expensive. the contents of this table will be replaced by an individual real news
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