Eyes could help detect multiple sclerosis’ progression rate

Washington, Dec 30: Thinning of layer of the retina in the eyes may show how fast multiple sclerosis (MS) is progressing in people with the disease, a new research has suggested.

For the study, 164 people with MS from the Johns Hopkins MS Center, including 59 who had no disease activity, underwent eye scans that measured thinning of a portion of their retinas every six months for an average of 21 months. Participants were also given MRI brain scans at the start of the study and yearly.

The study found that people with MS relapses had 42 percent faster thinning than people with MS who had no relapses.

People with MS who had inflammatory lesions called gadolinium-enhancing lesions experienced 54 percent faster thinning and those with new T2 lesions had 36 percent faster thinning than MS patients without these features of MRI activity.

People whose level of disability worsened during the study experienced 37 percent more thinning than those who had no changes in their level of disability, and those who had the disease less than five years showed 43 percent faster thinning than those who had the disease more than five years.

The study was supported by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the National Eye Institute and Braxton Debbie Angela Dillon and Skip Donor Advisor Fund.

The study has been published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. (ANI)