Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Achieve early diagnosis of ocular pathologies such as keratitis and macular degeneration

27.11.2009
Researchers from the University of Granada have provided an early diagnosis of certain ocular diseases that are very common today, such as age-related macular degeneration and keratitis, by applying an existing optical technique that, nevertheless, had never before been used for this purpose.

Scientists from the UGR have studied the image quality in subjects affected by one of these two pathologies, finding a greater amount of ocular aberrations and a higher level of scattering (term associated with the dispersion that light suffers when passing through the various ocular media) in affected eyes compared with results in healthy eyes. This significantly affects visual performance.

This work has been performed by the researcher Carolina Herrera Ortiz, from the Optics Department at the University of Granada, and directed by professors José Ramón Jiménez Cuesta and Francisco Pérez Ocón.

Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of central vision loss in developed countries, and mainly affects people of over 50 years of age. As far as keratitis is concerned, this condition causes inflammation of the cornea and can cause blindness, due to the severe alterations that the corneal surface may suffer.

Optical instruments

To carry out this work, the scientists measured the image quality with two optical instruments and used a psychophysical test for assessing visual performance. Results from patients with ARMD were compared with those obtained from a control group of similar age without any ocular pathology. Thus, the researchers could verify that for individuals affected by this condition there is an increased level of ocular scattering that could be mainly due to the disruption suffered by the light reflected in the damaged retina of the ARMD eyes, because a priori optics are not expected to be altered, since it is a retinal pathology.

On the other hand, optical quality and visual performance have also been studied in patients affected by keratitis. Eyes affected by keratitis present a poorer optical quality and a reduced visual performance that improves significantly after the resolution of the pathology. Nevertheless, once medical treatment ends, eyes that suffered from keratitis still have a worse image quality compared to the contralateral healthy eye, a result that significantly influences visual performance even having reached the normal values of visual acuity.

Visual quality characterization

The results of this research carried out at the UGR will make a full and objective characterization of visual quality in patients affected by any of these ocular pathologies. So far, the use of new techniques for assessing objectively the optic quality of the eye has been limited to studies on refractive or cataract surgery. However, as Carolina Ortiz Herrera suggests, this work "may be of particular interest to establish an early diagnosis of certain ocular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, the main cause of central vision loss in developed countries."

Furthermore, this technique allows researchers to carry out a monitoring of possible stages of both diseases. Ortiz Herrera stresses the importance of including "both in the clinical practice of optometry and ophthalmology" the use of new techniques that, objectively, could indicate deterioration in vision even when the visual acuity values are normal, since "vision is not only seeing well, but providing quality and comfort."

The results of this PhD research led to two publications in journals of international prestige such as Journal of Modern Optics and Cornea. They will be soon published in Current Eye Research.

Reference: Carolina Herrera Ortiz, Optics Department, University of Granada. Tel: (+34) 958 241 902. Email: ortizh@ugr.es

Carolina Herrera Ortiz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ugr.es

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>