Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, May 1-5

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The 2016 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology was held from May 1 to 5 in Seattle and attracted more than 12,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in vision and ophthalmology. The conference highlighted recent advances in vision and ophthalmology, with presentations focusing on the latest research in amblyopia, cataracts, glaucoma, macular edema, myopia, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.

In one study, Maxine Miller, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues created a viable whole eye transplant model in the rat. They also described donor and recipient surgical protocols.

"Our group has developed an orthotopic vascularized whole eye transplant model in the rat," Miller said. "We have learned that donor procurement requires combined endonasal and transcranial approach to decompress the orbital apex."

"The crux of the recipient procedure is the identification of the optimal recipient artery and vein. The facial vessels present a good size match and are easily exposed via a Risdon incision," Miller added. "This surgical protocol serves as a benchmark for optimization of technique, potentiating the scope of face transplants to include eye tissue, as well as revolutionizing the clinical management of visual impairment and blindness by introducing the possibility of vision restoration transplantation surgery."

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In another study, Henry H.L. Chan, Ph.D., of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and colleagues evaluated the protective effect of Lycium barbarum (wolfberry), a common traditional Chinese herb, on the daytime vision of patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

"After treatment for the first six months, we obtained a very encouraging result. The RP patients who received daily supplement of Lycium barbarum showed a preservation of daytime vision as compared to the control group (RP patients receiving placebo) who had the gradual deterioration of daytime vision," Chan said.

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In an effort to determine the role of vision in the success of elite athletes, Brendan Barrett, O.D., Ph.D., of the University of Bradford School of Optometry & Vision Science in the United Kingdom, and colleagues evaluated visual reaction times in high-level athletes and compared them to non-elite athletes. The investigators recorded where the participants' eyes were looking and whether their eyes were steady.

"We show that making eye movements does slow reaction times, but having unsteady eyes does not explain slower reaction times in low-level athletes compared to elites. The eyes were no more steady in the elite athletes," Barrett said. "There are claims that training athletes to hold their eyes steady can be beneficial to performance on the field. Our results show that training athletes to hold their eyes steady won't improve their reaction times."

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ARVO: Ebola Survivors May Be Left With Visual Impairment

WEDNESDAY, May 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- About one-fifth of Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone developed severe or total vision loss within weeks of being declared free of the virus, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, held from May 1 to 5 in Seattle.

Abstract No. B0119
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