Cerebral (cortical) visual impairment (CVI) is a condition that interferes with the ability of the brain to process information from the eyes, and it has become a leading cause of visual impairment in the U.S.
Researchers seeking to unravel the mysteries of how our amazingly complex brains do what they do, often start with the eye. An extension of neural tissue connecting the eye and brain, the retina, the light-sensing tissue at the back of the eye has long been a model for scientists to explore how the brain works.
The National Eye Institute (NEI) has funded development of a handheld pediatric vision scanner that easily and accurately screens for amblyopia, or “lazy eye.” The device could facilitate earlier identification of children who need vision-saving treatment when therapy is likely to be more effective. It also could reduce unnecessary referrals to ophthalmologists.
Babies born prematurely who require treatment to prevent blindness from retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) could be treated with a dose of Avastin (bevacizumab) that is a fraction of the dose commonly used for ROP currently. Results from the dose-finding study were published April 23 in JAMA Ophthalmology. The study was conducted by the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG) and supported by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
National Eye Institute (NEI) researchers profiling epigenomic changes in light-sensing mouse photoreceptors have a clearer picture of how age-related eye diseases may be linked to age-related changes in the regulation of gene expression. The findings, published online April 21 in Cell Reports, suggest that the epigenome could be targeted as a therapeutic strategy to prevent leading causes of vision loss, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Researchers have discovered a technique for directly reprogramming skin cells into light-sensing rod photoreceptors used for vision, sidestepping the need for stem cells. The lab-made rods enabled blind mice to detect light after the cells were transplanted into the animals’ eyes.
According to a recent analysis of data from two major eye disease studies, adherence to the Mediterranean diet – high in vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil – correlates with higher cognitive function.
A protein that normally deposits mineralized calcium in tooth enamel may also be responsible for calcium deposits in the back of the eye in people with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study from researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI).
An artificial intelligence (AI) device that has been fast-tracked for approval by the Food and Drug Administration may help identify newborns at risk for aggressive posterior retinopathy of prematurity (AP-ROP). AP-ROP is the most severe form of ROP and can be difficult to diagnose in time to save vision.
Researchers at the National Eye Institute used artificial intelligence to evaluate stem cell-derived “patches” of retinal pigment epithelium tissue for implanting into the eyes of patients with age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.
Results from a clinical trial funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) show that while vision therapy can successfully treat convergence insufficiency (CI) in children, it fails to improve their reading test scores.
Anyone who has ever sensed that a person is sick simply by looking at their face has experienced the wealth of information conveyed by face color. A new study by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, provides evidence that the human brain’s visual system is especially sensitive to the color of faces compared to the colors of other objects or things. Study results were published today in Nature Communications.
Children can keep full visual perception – the ability to process and understand visual information – after brain surgery for severe epilepsy, according to a study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health. A new report by Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, researchers from a study of children who had undergone epilepsy surgery suggests that the lasting effects on visual perception can be minimal, even among children who lost tissue in the brain’s visual centers.
Eating a calcium-rich diet or taking calcium supplements does not appear to increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to the findings of a study by scientists at the National Eye Institute (NEI). AMD is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness among people age 65 and older in the United States. The study findings are published in JAMA Ophthalmology.
Cells of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) form unique patterns that can be used to track changes in this important layer of tissue in the back of the eye, researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have found. Using a combination of adaptive optics imaging and a fluorescent dye, the researchers used the RPE patterns to track individual cells in healthy volunteers and people with retinal disease. The new finding could provide a way to study the progression and treatment of blinding diseases that affect the RPE.
A small pilot clinical study at the National Eye Institute (NEI) suggests that the drug nitisinone increases melanin production in some people with oculocutaneous albinism type 1B (OCA-1B), a rare genetic disease that causes pale skin and hair and poor vision. Increased melanin could help protect people with the condition against the sun’s UV rays and promote the development of normal vision.
A wearable brain-based device called NGoggle that incorporates virtual reality could help improve glaucoma diagnosis and prevent vision loss. Duke University researchers funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) have launched a clinical study testing the device in hopes that it could decrease the burden of glaucoma, a major cause of blindness in the U.S.
Using a novel patient-specific stem cell-based therapy, researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) prevented blindness in animal models of geographic atrophy, the advanced “dry” form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a leading cause of vision loss among people age 65 and older. The protocols established by the animal study, published January 16 in Science Translational Medicine (STM), set the stage for a first-in-human clinical trial testing the therapy in people with geographic atrophy, for which there is currently no treatment.
Researchers at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, have created a noninvasive technology that detects when nerve cells fire based on changes in shape. The method could be used to observe nerve activity in light-accessible parts of the body, such as the eye, which would allow physicians to quantitatively monitor visual function at the cellular level.
The National Eye Institute (NEI) awarded $25,000 to a team led by Wei Liu, Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine, for demonstrating progress toward the development of a living model of the human retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The prize money was awarded for the first of two phases of the NEI 3-D Retina Organoid Challenge 2020 (3-D ROC 2020), a national initiative to generate human retina organoids from stem cells. NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health.
Scientists at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have found that neurons in the superior colliculus, an ancient midbrain structure found in all vertebrates, are key players in allowing us to detect visual objects and events.
By combining two imaging modalities—adaptive optics and angiography—investigators at the National Eye Institute (NEI) can see live neurons, epithelial cells, and blood vessels deep in the eye’s light-sensing retina. Resolving these tissues and cells in the outermost region of the retina in such unprecedented detail promises to transform the detection and treatment of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness among the elderly.
Shortly after birth when the world is a blur, babies may be learning to identify patterns. According to a new study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), the initial phase of blurry vision may be fundamental to the development of normal visual processing.
Delivery of corticosteroids directly into the eye is more effective than injections adjacent to the eye, according to results from a comparative clinical trial of macular edema in patients with noninfectious uveitis.
During aging, loss of vision and cognition often coincide. In a new study, researchers funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) and National Institute on Aging (NIA) have found that vision loss precedes loss of mental capacity. The findings suggest that maintaining eye health could help protect cognition in older adults.
Scientists funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) report a novel gene therapy that halts vision loss in a canine model of a blinding condition called autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). The strategy could one day be used to slow or prevent vision loss in people with the disease.
Researchers funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) have identified 133 genetic variants that predict with 75-percent accuracy a person’s risk for developing glaucoma related to elevated pressure within the eye. Future genetic tests could identify high-risk individuals who would benefit from early interventions aimed at preventing vision loss from glaucoma, a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States.
Researchers at the National Eye Institute have discovered cellular mechanisms that help the 13-lined ground squirrel survive hibernation. Their findings could be a step toward extending storage of human donor tissues awaiting transplantation and protecting traumatic brain injury patients who undergo induced hypothermia. NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health. The findings were published in the May 3 issue of Cell.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements taken orally proved no better than placebo at relieving symptoms or signs of dry eye, according to the findings of a well-controlled trial funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Immune cells called microglia can completely repopulate themselves in the retina after being nearly eliminated, according to a new study in mice from scientists at the National Eye Institute (NEI). The cells also re-establish their normal organization and function.
A new clinical study led by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, will follow 500 people over five years to learn more about the natural history of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD). By using the latest technologies to visualize structures within the eye and measure their function, researchers hope to identify biomarkers of disease progression, well before it advances to late-stage disease and causes vision loss.
Tim Goetz drives about 200,000 miles each year. Remarkably, Goetz is legally blind. Research funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) is helping Goetz and others like him get or stay behind the wheel while keeping roads safe for everyone.
The recent approval of two novel medications for glaucoma – the first new medications for the disorder in nearly 18 years – are fruit borne from decades of foundational scientific research supported by the National Eye Institute (NEI). The two medications, Vyzulta and Rhopressa, treat elevated eye pressure. High intraocular pressure is a causal risk factor for primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma and a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the U.S. and worldwide.
Common, unavoidable eye movements may be a cause of glaucoma in people with normal intraocular pressure (normal-tension glaucoma), according to new research supported by the National Eye Institute. The findings suggest that over time eye movement strains the optic nerve, the bundle of nerve fibers between the eye and brain. The research may also explain why tension-lowering eye drops can improve normal-tension glaucoma. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide and January is Glaucoma Awareness Month.
Scientists at the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, report that tiny tube-like protrusions called primary cilia on cells of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)—a layer of cells in the back of the eye—are essential for the survival of the retina’s light-sensing photoreceptors. The discovery has advanced efforts to make stem cell-derived RPE for transplantation into patients with geographic atrophy, otherwise known as dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. The study appears in the January 2 Cell Reports.
The development of new therapies and cures would be impossible without patients volunteering for clinical research studies. In exchange, volunteers often receive care based on the latest research, while gaining the satisfaction of helping others. That was the case with David, a research nurse who has had type 1 diabetes since he was 11 years old. (He asked that we not use his full name.) Now 66, he owes his 20/20 vision to his participation in clinical research funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), a part of the National Institutes of Health.
The eye is more than a window to the soul; it is a window to the brain. To highlight the important connection between vision science and neuroscience, the NIH’s National Eye Institute is kicking off its 50th anniversary celebration with the symposium “Vision and the Brain,” Friday, November 10, 2017, at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. The event takes place in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and is the first in series of symposia scheduled through 2018.
NIH scientists have simplified manufacturing and dosing of a potential drug candidate for the autoimmune eye disease uveitis—a vision-threatening condition that accounts for about 15 percent of blindness in the U.S. The protein in question, part of the immune system signaling molecule interleukin-35 (IL-35), also shows efficacy in treating a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. The research was conducted at the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Several studies indicate that the prevalence of myopia is increasing in the U.S. and worldwide, and researchers project that the trend will continue in the coming decades. Otherwise known as nearsightedness, myopia occurs when the eye grows too long from front to back. Instead of focusing images on the retina—the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye—images are focused at a point in front of the retina. As a result, people with myopia have good near vision but poor distance vision.
A proposal to create a living model of the human retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, won $90,000 in the National Eye Institute (NEI) 3-D Retina Organoid Challenge (3-D ROC). The NEI 3-D ROC is an initiative that seeks to design human retinas from stem cells. Erin Lavik, Sc.D., at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, led the awarded team. The NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health.
Cells within an injured mouse eye can be coaxed into regenerating neurons and those new neurons appear to integrate themselves into the eye’s circuitry, new research shows. The findings potentially open the door to new treatments for eye trauma and retinal disease. The study appears in the July 26 issue of Nature, and was funded in part by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Bugs in your eyes may be a good thing. Resident microbes living on the eye are essential for immune responses that protect the eye from infection, new research shows. The study, which appears in the journal Immunity on July 11, demonstrates the existence of a resident ocular microbiome that trains the developing immune system to fend off pathogens. The research was conducted at the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health.