Impairment of acquired color vision in multiple sclerosis: an early diagnostic sign linked to the greatness of disease.


National Researches Council, Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology, Research Section, Viale Europa, 88100, Germaneto (Catanzaro), Italy. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : To assess the type and degree of both red-green and blue-yellow color vision deficiencies of Calabrian males affected by multiple sclerosis.
METHODS : Eighty Calabrian male patients were enrolled (age range 18-70 years; mean age 40.6 ± 12.4 years) showing a disease duration mean of 10.6 ± 8.2 years (range = 0.5-46 years) coming from the Institute of Neurology, Magna Graecia University, Catanzaro. Optic neuritis present in the medical histories of the 21 patients does not influence color vision. Excluding seven colorblind subjects and one affected by a bilateral maculopathy, the analyzed sample group was 72. Seventy controls were matched for age and sex.
METHODS : An ophthalmologist examined all patients and controls in order to rule out diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, senile maculopathy, or ocular fundus' anomalies. The Ishihara test identified the colorblind patients. The City University Test screened for people with abnormal color vision by grading the severity of color vision deficiency. The second part of the City University Test as well as the Farnsworth Test confirmed both the color vision deficiency type and degree.
RESULTS : Fifty-one percentage (37/72) of the patients showing a color vision deficiency were subdivided into two subgroups: subgroup one showed red-green deficiency (57%, 21/37); subgroup two showed a coupled red-green and blue-yellow deficiency (43%, 16/37). Furthermore, we found two distinct curves showing a groove within the first 10 years of the disease. Both monocular and binocular analyses allowed us to identify the patients showing the monocular color vision deficiency, but they were well compensated by binocular vision.
CONCLUSIONS : We think that the majority of the patients with the red-green deficiency will develop the coupled red-green and blue-yellow deficiency in the latter years of multiple sclerosis.


Calabrian patients,Color vision,Multiple Sclerosis,Neurodegenerative diseases,Ophthalmic tests,Vision defect,blue–yellow color vision defect,red–green color vision defect,