That news might mean swifter treatment for MS, note MS experts including Peter Calabresi, MD, of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
"Treatments for MS cannot reverse the damage but they can arrest it, so the earlier we get someone on medication the quicker we can stop the disease from causing more harm," Calabresi says in a news release.
OCT shows the thickness of retinal nerve fibers. Thinning retinal nerve fibers may show MS nerve damage, according to Calabresi and colleagues.
Among the MS patients, thinner retinal nerve fibers were linked with brain tissue loss. But that wasn't true in participants without multiple sclerosis.
The study was small, but the results were "strong and encouraging," write Calabresi and colleagues, who write that OCT is a "relatively new" technique.
They call for larger, longer studies to track OCT and MS over time.