Amblyopia treatment may need to be revised, research suggests

Amblyopia treatment may need to be revised, research suggests

Study shows that eye and brain pressure are physiologically connected Traditionally, scientists have thought amblyopia starts in the brain's visual cortex. Using two-photon calcium imaging, an advanced technique that displays cerebral activity in real time, Huh and her colleagues investigated this accepted belief in rodent models. Their research revealed amblyopia's impact on binocular vision actually originates in the thalamus, which serves as the information relay station between the eyes and the visual cortex. They did, however, find that the visual cortex does serve a role in amblyopia by affecting the ability to see fine detail. To treat amblyopia, a patch, either in physical form or pharmaceutically, is placed over the better eye to force the brain to learn how to use the weaker one. Without this process, the brain could lose its ability to utilize the latter. However, our findings indicate amblyopia treatment may need to be revised. The traditional treatment of patching the good eye may need to be supplemented with newer methods such as binocular training, to preserve and improve 3-dimensional vision as much as possible." Carey Y.L. Huh, Ph.D., the article's first author Amblyopia can result from childhood strabismus, a condition in which the eyes are misaligned. Other principal causes of amblyopia include childhood cataracts and severe refraction differences between eyes that are left uncorrected in youngsters. It is important to have children's eyes examined early so the underlying problems can be properly treated. With the colloquial name "lazy eye," it may be easy to overlook the impact of amblyopia, Huh said. "It is a significant condition that prevents people from enjoying full visual capacity and can keep them from entering certain professions," she said. "And the vision degeneration that can come with aging could raise special concerns for those with amblyopia." Source: University of California, Irvine Journal reference: Huh, C.Y.L., et al . (2020) Long-term Monocular Deprivation during Juvenile Critical Period Disrupts Binocular Integration in Mouse Visual Thalamus. Journal of Neuroscience . doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1626-19.2019 .



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