EYES AND MS
ANCHOR LEAD: USE OF A SPECIFIC TYPE OF EYE EXAM COULD HELP TRACK MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
A simple, painless eye examination using a machine many ophthalmologists already have may be able to track nerve damage experienced by people with multiple sclerosis, or MS. Peter Calabresi, an MS expert at Johns Hopkins, says the test is faster and less expensive than MRI, which is currently used to assess those with MS.
CALABRESI: I’d like to emphasize that this is not a diagnostic test because its not specific for the disease, however, in the appropriate setting, where an ophthalmologist has seen the patient and ruled out glaucoma and other retinal diseases, then it can be used to measure the degree of damage over time and it may point to MS early on, but in someone who has an established diagnosis then it’s really useful because it can track the degree of nerve damage related to their MS optic nerve inflammation. :27
Calabresi says the test, called optical coherence tomography or OCT, may also help in assessing how well medications are working. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting