A new eye exam shows promising capability to detect glaucoma, a leading cause of permanent blindness, before symptom manifestation.
Glaucoma is a group of diseases causing damage to the eye’s optic nerve, possibly resulting in vision loss and blindness. 60 million people around the world are affected by the condition. Early detection is crucial to preserving eyesight.
The test makes use of a fluorescent dye that attaches to apoptosing retinal cells. When examining the back of the eye, these cells appear as white spots, indicating glaucoma. The research was carried out in University College London’s Institute of Opthalmology, and lead researcher Professor Francesca Cordeiro notes that the condition can be detected up to 10 years before symptoms manifest.
In phase 1 clinical trials, the test has shown clear distinction between healthy and affected individuals. The test has been trialled on 16 people so far, and far more research is needed to examine its effectiveness. The test also shows potential in diagnosing Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
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