Noninvasive Retinal Functional Imaging of Animal Models
Neural tissue such as the brain or the retina of the eye exhibits a visible vascular response (an optical signal) when it is active, and sensitive cameras can be used to record these signals. This lab has recently adapted this technique to the non-invasive monitoring of retinal function. The promise of Dr. Ts'o project is the development of a reliable, objective instrument for monitoring the activity of the retina, in health and disease, simply by taking pictures of its response to patterns of light. Glaucoma is one disease that may greatly benefit from such an instrument. It would facilitate the early detection and characterization of glaucoma in patients and help in the monitoring of the progress of the disease and its treatment. This project aims to target this new technique specifically to the monitoring of the health and activity of the ganglion cells of the retina, the cells that are most affected by glaucoma. Dr. Ts'o then proposes to directly test how well this technique reveals glaucoma and its progression. These developments are designed to make this new technology most useful for the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.