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Refinement of glaucoma testing, treatment expected from US, United Kingdom study
Date:1/14/2010

by researchers in London, England, Swanson found widespread misinterpretation in comparisons of glaucoma patient data based on "inappropriate statistical analyses" that did not account for differences in units of measurement, lack of an independent variable and differences in dynamic range.

"This issue has now been raised by a number of laboratories and there is increasing awareness of the need to compensate for differences in linear versus logarithmic units," Swanson said of incorrect conclusions based on comparing structural (linear) and functional (logarithmic) measures in glaucoma patients.

Swanson's research path will now move toward optimizing and reducing variability in the perimetry testing that is used to find certain patterns of vision loss, especially early changes in vision caused by nerve damage from glaucoma. Regular perimetry tests are also used to monitor whether or not treatment for glaucoma is preventing further vision loss.

Perimetry, or visual field testing, measures central and peripheral vision, as a subject sits and looks inside a bowl-shaped instrument called a perimeter. The subject pushes a button each time a flash is seen while a computer notes the site of each flash and whether or not the subject pressed the button when the respective flash occurred. A resulting printout then displays areas of vision loss.

With a new quantitative model for creating statistical methods that accurately compare different clinical measures, along with development of a next generation of perimetry for glaucoma patients called contrast sensitivity perimetry (CSP), Swanson's work can focus on optimizing protocols for CSP testing in clinics, on testing the new model's predictions in a large database and on developing a better understanding of the relations between how glaucoma damage is measured by CSP and other clinical methods.

One hope researchers have is that close analysis of the data from a United Kingdom study g
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Contact: Steve Chaplin
stjchap@indiana.edu
812-856-1896
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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