Chromatic and luminance losses with multiple sclerosis and optic neuritis measured using dynamic random luminance contrast noise

Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2004 May;24(3):225-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-1313.2004.00191.x.


We measured thresholds for detecting changes in colour and in luminance contrast in observers with multiple sclerosis (MS) and/or optic neuritis (ON) to determine whether reduced sensitivity occurs principally in red-green or blue-yellow second-stage chromatic channels or in an achromatic channel. Colour thresholds for the observers with MS/ON were higher in the red-green direction than in the blue-yellow direction, indicating greater levels of red-green loss than blue-yellow loss. Achromatic thresholds were raised less than either red-green or blue-yellow thresholds, showing less luminance-contrast loss than chromatic loss. With the MS/ON observers, blue-yellow and red-green thresholds were positively correlated but increasing impairment was associated with more rapid changes in red-green thresholds than blue-yellow thresholds. These findings indicate that demyelinating disease selectively reduces sensitivity to colour vision over luminance vision and red-green colours over blue-yellow colours.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Color Perception Tests / methods
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Optic Neuritis / physiopathology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology
  • Visual Acuity / physiology