Simple eye scan 'can determine how healthy the brain is'

17 October 2012

The amount of brain damage that people with the debilitating autoimmune disorder multiple sclerosis is suffering from could be detected through an inexpensive, five-minute eye scan.

On top of this, the procedure could present medical professionals with clues about how rapidly the disease is developing, according to new research carried out at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The study, which was led by Peter A Calabresi, a professor of neurology at the establishment, involved the scientists using optical coherence tomography to scan nerves located deep in the back of the eye.

During the analysis, the researchers located thickness or swelling of the inner nuclear layer of the retina in 164 patients.

Brain MRIs were also conducted and it was found that the more inflammation and swelling that were found in the retinas, the more inflammation that showed up during the MRI scan too.

Professor Calabresi commented: "The eye is the window into the brain and by measuring how healthy the eye is, we can determine how healthy the rest of the brain is."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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