Imaging and Exploring the Eye-Brain Connection

A woman's eye with scientific imagery superimposed on top

 

Eye changes associated with glaucoma contribute to tiny blind spots, known as “visual field defects,” which, if they worsen, might advance to vision loss and blindness. The chance of that, and the speed at which it happens, vary greatly from person to person.  

Early diagnosis is key, and much progress has been made in imaging the eye to detect the tiniest changes that may precede glaucoma.

National Glaucoma Research grantees are developing and using new technologies to look at individual retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) of the eye and their nerve fibers, which carry light signals to the brain. It’s challenging because RGCs are nearly transparent and very difficult to image. They are also using new techniques to detect changes to synapses, or connections between cells, and observe the energy regulation in the RGCs. The contribution of cerebrospinal fluid and other mechanisms is also being explored to better understand the eye-brain connection. This exploration may result in earlier detection and new ways to treat glaucoma.

 

 

 

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