Thursday 23 November 2017

Glaucoma test could save sight of millions

Glaucoma, caused by the death of retinal cells at the back of the eye, affects 60 million people worldwide. Stock picture
Glaucoma, caused by the death of retinal cells at the back of the eye, affects 60 million people worldwide. Stock picture

Alan Martin

A pioneering eye test could save the sight of millions by helping doctors tackle the biggest global cause of permanent blindness.

The test allows early detection of glaucoma so that treatment can start before vision begins to deteriorate.

It also has potential for diagnosing degenerative neurological conditions including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis.

Glaucoma, caused by the death of retinal cells at the back of the eye, affects 60 million people worldwide.

The new technique, called Darc (detection of apoptosing retinal cells) uses a special fluorescent marker which attaches to cell proteins when injected into patients. Unhealthy cells appear as white fluorescent spots during an eye examination.

Professor Francesca Cordeiro, of University College London's Institute of Ophthalmology, who led the research, said: "For the first time, we have been able to show individual cell death and detect the earliest signs of glaucoma."

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News