Retinal function: Pathways of research

Clinical Practice
Dr Douglas Clarkson takes a look at some of the latest research into how the retina works

Research into retinal function can be identified as taking place on a broad range of fronts and involving diverse international research groups. Investigations seek to improve the understanding of cell dynamics within normal functional parameters and also the specific details of disease processes, such as wet and dry age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Researchers are cautious about predicting the future potential outcomes of their research programmes, though the current ‘road map’ anticipates at some stage the availability of treatments to slow disease processes and even reverse loss of function.

This article will take a look at some of this research areas with a focus upon studies into the role of metals within retinal metabolism, and the regeneration of retinal ganglion cells following trauma to the optic nerve or disease processes associated with glaucoma.

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