Scientists in Britain presented the medical society with simple ophthalmologic testing, which from now on will help prevent the development of blindness - one of the most dangerous consequences of glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a very common pathology. To date, this insidious disease is sick no less than 60 million people on the planet. At the same time every tenth patient sooner or later completely lose sight.
British specialists recently conducted an important clinical study, the purpose of which was the discovery of this pathology at an early stage of development.
Scientists managed to develop a special device that allows you to detect the processes of death of nerve cells of the retina before the appearance of the initial signs of glaucoma. If you carry out diagnosis of the disease at this stage, you can save the visual function of millions of people.
A new diagnostic technique was called DARC ("detection of retinal apoptotic cells"). During the diagnosis the doctor introduces a special fluorescent marker to the patient, which selectively adheres to the dying ganglionic nerve cells of the retina, visualizing these structures when examining the organs of vision.
The uniqueness of this technique was reported by representatives of the University School of London and the Western Ophthalmologic Hospital.
According to the authors of the invention, early detection of glaucoma will allow us to prescribe more effective treatment and stop the disease at the initial stage of development.
Probably, this diagnostic device will be in demand for detection of such pathologies as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, as well as multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Cordeiro, representing the UCL Ophthalmology Institute, explains: "Early recognition of glaucoma is a very important point, since the first signs of the disease are not always obvious. For many years of research, we were finally able to fix the death of single neurons of the retina, determining the very first - the initial stage of the disease. "
Equally, as with neurodegenerative disorders, the death of nerve cells in the retina indicates progress in the development of glaucoma. For this reason, the diagnosis can also be used to determine other pathologies of the nervous system.
"It is preferable to treat glaucoma, like any other disease, at the initial stage, when the painful process has not yet spread far. Our discovery will soon be tested in practice. We expect that from now on we will be able to detect glaucoma, at least 10 years earlier than it was possible to perform with the help of other diagnostic procedures, "states Dr. Philip Bloom, one of the founders of the project.
Scientists conducted additional studies have shown that the fluorescent method is completely safe for the human body.
The financial side of the issue was taken over by UCL Business, based on the University College in London, with the support of the Wellcome Trust.