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Translating Visual Neuroscience into Clinical Practice
My lab has made progress in translating basic visual science into clinical application on 2 fronts. First, we have modified a methodology to measure spatial visual thresholds in rodents (OptoMotry) for use in non-verbal humans (OptokineSys) who cannot participate in traditional visual assessments. OptokineSys utilizes eye-tracking technology to measure smooth eye movements while a subject is reflexively following moving visual scenes. Psychophysical procedures, quantitative stimulus manipulations, and musical feedback are utilized to identify the limits of spatial visual function. The system represents a novel way to measure visual thresholds in intact humans, as well as in brain injured subjects who are unable to effectively communicate. Second, we have identified in animal studies a peptide-based strategy to improve retinal mitochondrial function, and have used to reverse diabetic visual decline and age related visual decline. The same strategy has now passed Phase 2 human clinical studies for use with Diabetic Retinal Edema, and a clinical study for Age-related Macular Degeneration is being planned.