LONDON, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- By gauging the lens in the eye, researchers can predict who will develop type 2 diabetes in the future and prediabetes, according to a preliminary study released on Monday by the University of Exeter.
Researchers from the British university used a newly-developed biomicroscope to detect advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) in the eye via a simple scan. The increased level of AGEs in the body contributes to development of many diseases, including complications of diabetes.
Some 20 people with type 2 diabetes, 20 people with prediabetes and 20 healthy age-matched control subjects participated in this pilot study.
They underwent comprehensive medical and neurological assessments including measurement of lens autofluorescence by using the biomicroscope. The biomicroscope focuses a beam of blue light onto the lens noninvasively, and measures the autoflouresence in the reflected green light, which provides a measure of the level of AGEs.
The study found a significant increase in AGE levels in the eyes of people with type 2 diabetes, and it also showed an increase levels in people with prediabetes, which could be seen as a way to measure those who may go on to develop diabetes in the future.
"Although this is a pilot study, it is an exciting emerging new tool for early detection and monitoring the treatment of patients. It could improve the lives of people with type 2 diabetes by reducing complications. However, larger and long-term clinical studies are needed to confirm these findings," said Dr. Mitra Tavakoli from the university.