HOUSTON -- A University of Houston (UH) vision scientist has received a $1.85 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate whether his techniques are more effective than others in understanding the earliest changes of glaucoma, which could lead to developing a way to earlier diagnose this potentially blinding disease.
Jason Porter, an assistant professor of vision science and biomedical engineering, uses a state-of-the-art instrument that takes sharper, higher-resolution images of the eye than current clinical instruments. The adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope, or AOSLO, device Porter uses corrects for the eye's optical imperfections and captures high-resolution movies on a cellular-level in the living eye. Since 2009, his team has been using the AOSLO to image normal and diseased eyes, and the instrument has become a key component of their work in glaucoma, with the goal of using it to better understand retinal diseases.
"Even when wearing glasses or contact lenses, our eyes still have subtle optical imperfections, and these imperfections limit the ability of current clinical instruments to obtain high-resolution images in the eye on a cellular-level," Porter said. "The AOSLO uses a technology called adaptive optics to correct for these subtle imperfections, thereby improving the eye's optical quality and allowing our instrument to capture sharp images of single cells in living eyes. This could potentially lead to more sensitive imaging techniques that may better clarify the causes of glaucoma."
The knowledge resulting from this research, Porter explains, will enhance clinicians' understanding of the development and progression of glaucoma and may provide earlier recognition of structural damage from the disease. The study's results also may result in more sensitive, improved imaging diagnostics used by optometrists and ophthalmologists to prevent vision loss by earlier detecting structura
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University of Houston