Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Eye Center Detecting MS In Early Stages

07:12 PM, January 2nd 2007
by News Staff

Doctors in Houston are looking into their patients' eyes to search for early signs of multiple sclerosis.

Using four different and inexpensive eye exams, physicians at the Multiple Sclerosis Eye Center for Analysis, Research and Education search for abnormalities in the retina and damage to optic nerve fibers. Many doctors agree that, in more than half of patients, the neurological disorder first attacks the eyes, causing blurred vision, and temporary or permanent sight loss, the Wall Street Journal said Tuesday.

By concentrating on the eyes, "the center is helping patients identify irregularities and referring them for treatments that may slow the disorder's progression," says Rosa Tang, co-director at MS Eye Care.

No one test can either diagnose or eliminate MS, doctors said. Several tests, such as an MRI or a spinal tap, both expensive, are needed for a thorough diagnosis.

A number of doctors are pushing for more centers similar to MS Eye Care, based on its capability of early detection at a lower cost.

© 2007 UPI