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Pupils in a new light!

Posted By Darrel L. Conger CRA, Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In ophthalmic imaging, it would be hard to deny that the retinal ganglion cell layer (RGC) is the hot place to be. OCT makers are adding RGC layer maps to their battery of tests and printouts. For those of you lucky enough to be at last year's mid-year meeting in Chapel Hill heard and excellent talk by Sanjay Asrani MD that included some of his research into the damage in glaucoma to the RGC. One of our great speakers in this year program, Ari Green MD, has published an excellent paper on his findings of microcystic oedema in the RGC in Multiple Sclerosis patients.

There is something about the RGC that many of you may not know about. Between one to three percent of the RGC are actually special light sensitive versions called photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (pRGC) or intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGC). These special cells were probably first discovered in 1923 and then sort of rediscovered in the 1990's. These very important cells play a major role in our everyday life. Among other things they regulate the circadian rhythm in our bodies. Damage to these cells can lead to severe fatigue and sleep problems.

In the second part of my talk " Electrophysiology and Pupillometry in Ophthalmic Imaging” at this year's mid-year program, I will be discussing a new generation of multi-chromatic pupillometers. Testing for damage to the ipRGC is just one of the tests these new instruments can perform. Old tests like the swinging flashlight test for afferent pupillary defects can now also be quantified for clinical and research purposes. I hope you will join me in San Francisco for a short introduction to this exciting technology.

Darrel Conger, CRA

Tags:  Pupils  Retinal Ganglion Cells 

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