A very early stage detection of eye diseases is now possible with the invention of metabolic imaging instrument by University of Michigan.
A researcher duo from the U-M Kellogg Eye Center—Dr. Victor M. Elner and Dr. Howard R. Petty—says that such a device may prove vision-saving, as many severe eye diseases do not exhibit early warning signals before they begin to diminish vision.
The researchers have revealed that the new instrument makes for a non-invasive test, which takes less than six minutes to administer to a patient.
In a study, they used the new instrument to measure the degree to which a subtle visual condition affected six women.
The study participants had recently been diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri (PTC), a condition that mimics a brain tumour, and often causes increased pressure on the optic nerve that can lead to vision loss.
The researchers found that the new instrument to be superior in evaluating vision—visual fields, visual acuity, and pupillary light response—than several standard tests that are used for the same purpose.
According to reports, the study grew out of Petty and Elner's observation that metabolic stress at the onset of disease causes certain proteins to become fluorescent.
With a view to measure the intensity of the flavoprotein autofluorescence (FA), the researchers designed a unique imaging system. They equipped it with state-of-the art cameras, filters, and electronic switching as well as customized imaging software and a computer interface.