Computer aided analysis of human iris topography and its relationship to systemic disease

Buchanan, Timothy John (1993) Computer aided analysis of human iris topography and its relationship to systemic disease. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The research was conducted to investigate the claims made by certain alternative medicine practitioners, namely iridologists, that the majority of systemic diseases are accompanied by changes in the colour and/or structure of discrete regions of the
anterior surface of the iris.
Colour photographic slides of the left and right irides of between 22 and 30 patients' clinically diagnosed as suffering from one of 5 named disease states; asthma (30 patients), coronary heart disease (25), diabetes mellitus (22), psoriasis (30) and
ulcerative colitis (30), were analysed and subsequently compared with slides obtained from an equal number of control subjects.
Computer software, designed to map the position of defined iridic features types, relative to a standard reference point, was executed for each of the iris images digitised onto an image processing system. The resulting data, expressed as 360 x 100-bit binary words, for the left and right irides of patients representing each of the five experimental groups was compared with that for the corresponding control group by means of four differing methodologies. Comparison of the data based on the discrete regions of the iris which, for each of the five diseases under study, should, according to practitioners of iridology undergo changes as a result of the onset of the disease, failed to demonstrate significant differences between each of the experimental and associated control groups. Further, comparison of the data based on regions of the iris, for which
either the size or position varied from that specified by iridology practitioners, also failed to demonstrate any significant differences between experimental and control groups. A detailed visual comparison of iris images obtained from patients with those from control subjects, on the basis of lesions within the regions of the iris designated by iridology practitioners as being of primary importance, did not illustrate any significant differences.
This study demonstrated that iridology is not a useful tool for the diagnosis of asthma, coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus, psoriasis or ulcerative colitis.

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