A fluorescent dye injected into the bloodstream may, in future, provide a convenient method of detecting glaucoma earlier – perhaps a decade before more overt symptoms and damage have had the opportunity to develop – by identifying changes in the retina during routine eye examinations.
This new imaging technique, termed Detection of Apoptosing Retinal Cells (DARC), shows early promise as a convenient biomarker for a range of other neurodegenerative diseases, possibly offering a non-invasive means of earlier diagnosis and improved monitoring of disease progression for dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis etc.
Gallagher, J. (2017). Test may spot glaucoma before symptoms begin, study says. London: BBC Health News, April 27th 2017.
“This innovation has the potential to transform lives for those who suffer loss of sight through glaucoma, and offers hope of a breakthrough in early diagnosis of other neurodegenerative diseases”. Bethan Hughes: Wellcome Trust.
NHS Choices Behind the Headlines have also examined this research.
New glaucoma test could save millions from blindness. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, April 27th 2017.
This relates to:
Cordeiro, MF. Normando, EM. [and] Cardoso, MJ. [et al] (2017). Real-time imaging of single neuronal cell apoptosis in patients with glaucoma. Brain. April 26th 2017. [Epub ahead of print].