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Can an eye test prevent stroke?

Can an eye test prevent stroke?
11th June 2012

A simple eye test may be able to help prevent stroke, according to a recent study at the University of Zurich.

Researchers claim that an ocular pulse amplitude (OPA) test can detect carotid artery stenosis (CAS), which obstructs arteries that connect to the front part of the brain.

There is currently no test for CAS and there are no symptoms, making it hard to detect before it is too late.

What’s more, those with CAS are known to be an increased risk of stroke and identifying the condition at an early stage will enable doctors to administer patients with treatment to combat CAS and prevent stroke.

According to researchers, the test is pain free and can be easily performed by ophthalmologists during routine exams.

"Our results show that ocular pulse amplitude is a reliable, safe screening test for carotid artery stenosis," said lead researcher Dr Pascal Bruno Knecht.

"We recommend further study to confirm the value of using OPA to detect and assess the severity of CAS and to define its use in stroke prevention."

However, if the test’s efficacy is confirmed, it has the potential to save millions of lives every year by targeting those most at risk of stroke.

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