Imaging Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Pathology in Experimental Glaucoma
This study will investigate whether degradation of subcellular components of the retinal nerve fiber layer can be clinically detectable and whether it precedes complete glaucoma related degeneration of neurons in the eye.
Structural abnormalities within the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) may be one of the earliest signs of damage in glaucoma. In most cases in which there is high eye pressure, defects in the RNFL can be detected before problems first appear in the visual field. Previous studies suggest the structure of retinal nerve fibers (or axons) is altered before their complete, irreversible loss, and this alteration can be detected with imaging technology. This study will investigate whether degradation of neurofilaments and/or microtubules within these fibers is clinically detectable and whether it precedes complete degeneration and loss of axons in the RNFL and the optic nerve.