Experimental Eye Device May Help Screen for Diabetes
A wearable device that measures the reaction of a person’s pupils to light may one day help doctors screen patients with diabetes for early signs of autonomic neuropathy, a form of damage to nerves that perform functions we don’t consciously control, which can affect a person’s heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion. Researchers used the experimental device, called a “pupillometer,” in 10 adults with type 2 diabetes and 36 without. Pupil size was about 12 percent smaller and the pupil’s response time to light about 26 percent longer in those with diabetes than in those without. The cause? The researchers suspect autonomic neuropathy. They next plan to test the pupillometer in more patients and to verify autonomic neuropathy using standard tests, which are generally more difficult and expensive to administer.
Source: Applied Optics, published online July 28, 2014