Logo for the Journal of Rehab R and D

JRRD at a Glance

Thickness of retinal nerve fiber layer correlates with disease duration in parallel with corticospinal tract dysfunction in untreated multiple sclerosis

Rebecca I. Spain, MD, et al.

Figure. Subjects with history of optic neuritis (ON had significantly lower mean retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLt) in both eyes than subjects without history of ON.

In multiple sclerosis (MS), repeated attacks of inflammation lead to permanent nervous system damage and disability. One goal of MS therapy is to prevent neuron loss, or neurodegeneration, both during and between clinical attacks. We asked whether neurodegeneration could be detected in the retinal nerve layer of the eye. Using a scanning laser technique (optical coherence tomography [OCT]), we found that the nerve layer was thinner in patients with MS with greater disease duration. The results indicate that OCT is a useful technique for measuring neurodegeneration and may be used in assessing the neuroprotective effects of current and emerging MS therapies. This article is useful to healthcare providers, patients, and families who are interested in how to evaluate these therapies.

Volume 46 Number 5, 2009
   Pages 633 — 642

View HTML   ¦    View PDF   ¦    Contents Vol. 46, No. 5