From Medical Xpress:

Demyelination by MS. The CD68 colored tissue shows several macrophages in the area of the lesion. Original scale 1:100. Credit: Marvin 101/Wikipedia

In a paper published in Nature Reviews Neurology, researchers at Monash University have revealed that eye movement measures can help identify the presence and progression of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves. Patients experience a broad range of physical and , depending on the location and frequency of repeated immune-related attacks on the system. These can include loss of balance, slurred speech, tremors, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness. Unlike the physical problems, which are easily recognised and monitored, the cognitive issues are less clear and changes may go unnoticed.

By following simple visual commands, movement of the eye has been shown to reflect our cognitive or thought processes.

“Over the past 10 years, our studies have shown that eye movement measures can reveal abnormal cognitive processes in MS patients, at all stages of the disease, even where a diagnosis is only suspected. Further, we have been able to show that the degree of abnormality increases with disease duration,” commented Dr Joanne Fielding from the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University.

The ability to monitor the various symptoms of the disease is crucial for patient management, specifically for determining whether the disease is progressing or that a particular treatment is stalling

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