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Chromatic discrimination losses in multiple sclerosis patients with and without optic neuritis using the Cambridge Colour Test



We assessed chromatic discrimination in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients both with (ON) and without (no ON) a history of optic neuritis using the Cambridge color test (CCT). Our goal was to determine the magnitude and chromatic axes of any color vision losses in both patient groups, and to evaluate age-related changes in chromatic discrimination in both patient groups compared to normals. Using the CCT, we measured chromatic discrimination along the protan, deutan and tritan axes in 35 patients with MS (17 ON eyes) and 74 age matched controls. Color thresholds for both patient groups were significantly higher than controls' along the protan and tritan axes (p < 0.001). In addition, the ON and no-ON groups differed significantly along all three-color axes (p < 0.001). MS patients presented a progressive color discrimination impairment with age (along the deutan and tritan axes) that was almost two times faster than controls, even in the absence of ON. These findings suggest that demyelinating diseases reduce sensitivity to color vision in both red-green and blue-yellow axes, implying impairment in both parvocellular and koniocellular visual pathways. The CCT is a useful tool to help characterize vision losses in MS, and the relationship between these losses and degree of optic nerve involvement.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Ana Laura de Araújo Moura, Depto. Psicologia Experimental, Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Professor Mello Moraes, 1721 Bloco A Sala D-9, 05508-900 São Paulo, SP, Brasil. E-mail:


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Chromatic discrimination losses in multiple sclerosis patients with and without optic neuritis using the Cambridge Colour Test



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