Speeding Diabetes Diagnosis By Detecting Autofluorescence

They say that the eyes are the window to the soul, but in truth they are the window into so much more. In the medical field, the eyes often hold key clues to diagnosing and treating a host of other illnesses. Most recently a new diagnostic tool that utilizes blue light technology is making Diabetic testing and diagnosis more affordable, easier, and less invasive by measuring the amount of autoflourescence present in the eyes of diabetic patients.

Biologically, if a body is struggling to metabolize glucose (sugar) or simply not processing it, glucose tends to stick to proteins present in the lens of the diabetic s eyes. This symptom called advanced glycation, can actually begin as early as seven years prior to the actual diagnosis of diabetes. This causes an increase in autoflourescence in your cells. Autoflourescence is, with regards to the cells in your eye, a reaction of certain proteins when exposed to UV or visible light. When the proteins become excited due to the increase in glucose the cells will fluoresce on their own.

A medical diagnostic company called Freedom Meditech has developed a machine called a ClearPath which will perform simple six second, noninvasive eye tests to measure the amount of autoflourescent light being emitted by proteins in the eyes of diabetic patients. The ClearPath machine does this by using blue light to excite the affected proteins and measure the resulting autoflourescence. By measuring the amount of light emitted by the excited proteins, ophthalmologists will be able to assess how advanced the diabetes is, how high the glucose levels are and provide a safe, quick and painless alternative to taking blood and poking patients with needles.

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