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Retinal Regeneration and Imaging Presentations at ARVO

This year's opening session at the 2015 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) meeting in Denver was all about the National Eye Institute's Audacious Goals Initiative to "regenerate neurons and neural connections in the eye and visual system."

Before ARVO officially began there was a full-day "Imaging in the Eye" Symposium. Neurodegeneration and imaging research are hot topics for the research community and the National Eye Institute. This is good news for all of us focused on glaucoma research, as it points to greater progress in understanding glaucoma and finding better diagnostics and treatments to prevent vision loss.

Catalyst for a Cure Scientists Active at ARVO

The Catalyst for a Cure (CFC) research team funded by Glaucoma Research Foundation presented a large number of posters and presentations at ARVO.

  • Alfredo Dubra, PhD presented 16 posters related to his adaptive optics work and co-chaired a session on Advanced Ophthalmic Imaging;
  • Jeff Goldberg, MD, PhD presented several papers and posters and spoke on "Retinal Ganglion Cell Axon Regeneration" in the opening session;
  • Vivek Srinivasan, PhD presented a paper and poster on his quantitative oximetry research;
  • Andrew Huberman, PhD had a poster related to his research on retinal ganglion cell subtypes.

Five Audacious Goals Initiative grants were announced at ARVO. The first was on "Addressing Technical Needs and Opportunities for Imaging the Visual System" and one of the recipients was CFC scientist Alfredo Dubra, PhD, related to his research on adaptive optics.

Retinal Nerve Fiber Thickness Change Predicts Vision Loss

Other sessions on imaging reported on new techniques of following changes in the thickness of the nerve fibers or axons leading from the retinal nerve cells to the brain. There is growing evidence that accurate measurements of the thickness of this important layer may be indicative of the health of the retinal neurons and may also be a measure of the number of functioning neurons. Studies were presented that showed changes in the nerve fiber layer thickness were predictive of later changes in the visual field. This measurement could be a biomarker for glaucoma and potentially a way to track the effectiveness of therapy.
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Report by Thomas M. Brunner, President and CEO of Glaucoma Research Foundation in San Francisco, CA.

Last reviewed on September 16, 2015

This article appeared in the September 2015 issue of Gleams.

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