A Closer Look at the Eye: Researchers Develop New Retinal Imaging Technique
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have developed a new imaging technique that could revolutionize how eye health and disease are assessed. The group is first to be able to make out individual cells at the back of the eye that are implicated in vision loss in diseases like glaucoma. They hope their new technique could prevent vision loss via earlier diagnosis and treatment for these diseases.
In a study highlighted in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ethan A. Rossi, Ph.D., assistant professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, describes a new method to non-invasively image the human retina, a layer of cells at the back of the eye that are essential for vision. The group, led by David Williams, Ph.D., Dean for Research in Arts, Sciences, and Engineering and the William G. Allyn Chair for Medical Optics at the University of Rochester, was able to distinguish individual retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), which bear most of the responsibility of relaying visual information to the brain.
There has been a longstanding interest in imaging RGCs because their death causes vision loss in glaucoma, the second leading cause of acquired blindness worldwide. Despite great efforts, no one has successfully captured images of individual human RGCs, in part because they are nearly perfectly transparent.
This new approach might eventually allow us to detect the loss of single ganglion cells. The sooner we can catch the loss, the better our chances of halting disease and preventing vision loss. ….
Source: University of Rochester Medical Center