About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Preferred Retinal Location may Aid Rehabilitation in Old Patients

by Bidita Debnath on May 30, 2013 at 11:41 PM
Font : A-A+

 Preferred Retinal Location may Aid Rehabilitation in Old Patients

In patients with central vision loss, perceptual learning techniques may provide a useful new approach to rehabilitation — taking advantage of visual plasticity that persists even in old age.

This is according to a special article in the June issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Advertisement

The paper by Susana T.L. Chung, OD, PhD, FAAO, 2012 recipient of the prestigious Glenn A. Fry Lecture Award, presents new research findings on plasticity of the visual system in older adults with central vision loss. Anthony Adams, OD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Optometry and Vision Science, comments: "This award-winning author explored whether the new 'preferred retinal location' (PRL) in these typically older patients adopted important properties of the original fovea and hence provide evidence that even the older brain's visual cortex shows plasticity."


Evidence of 'Visual Plasticity' in Central Vision Loss...

Patients with loss of vision in the central part of the visual field face major challenges for daily living. The most common cause is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is also the leading cause of blindness in older adults. Central vision loss results from destruction of the fovea— the central pit of the retina, where visual acuity is sharpest.
Advertisement

Patients with central vision loss have problems with tasks requiring detailed vision, such as reading and recognizing faces. Although magnification can help, "Alternative rehabilitation strategies need to be developed to improve the functional vision of people with central vision loss, which hopefully will lead to an improved quality of life," Dr Chung writes.

One potentially useful approach is "perceptual learning"—improving various aspects of sensory function through repeated practice. Perceptual learning can improve vision in younger patients with amblyopia ("lazy eye"). It was previously thought that older patients, like those with AMD, no longer had enough visual plasticity to benefit from this approach.

Dr Chung's research takes advantage of the fact that people with central vision loss often adopt another location in the macula—the so-called preferred retinal location—to perform visual tasks. She reports a series of experiments "demonstrate[ing] the presence of plasticity in the visual system after bilateral central vision loss, especially at and around the PRL."


...May Lead to New Rehab Strategies in Central Vision Loss

These results show that "The visual system for these individuals is still plastic and can be modified through experiences," Dr Chung writes. She tested this hypothesis in a preliminary study of six older adults with central vision loss. In these patients, perceptual learning techniques targeting the PRL led to an average 50 percent increase in reading speed.

However, perceptual learning can't improve visual acuity—patients still needed large-print books or magnification to see print. In addition, they would likely need continued practice in order to retain the improvement in reading speed. Dr Chung concludes, "The presence of this experience-dependent plasticity offers us an exciting opportunity to adopt perceptual learning as an alternative rehabilitative strategy for improving visual functions for people with central vision loss."

Dr. Chung received the 2012 Glenn A. Fry Lecture Award in recognition of her research contributions. This prestigious award was established by American Optometric Foundation to honor Dr. Glenn A. Fry, who contributed so much to the profession of optometry through his writings, teachings, and administrative duties at the Ohio State University.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Oral Health And AIDS AIDS/HIV AIDS/HIV - Epidemiology AIDS/HIV - Clinical Features AIDS/HIV - Health Education AIDS/HIV - Prevention And Transmission AIDS / HIV - Treatment AIDS/HIV- Lab Tests and Faqs AIDS - Initial Theories and Disease Progression AIDS/HIV - Worldwide distribution and Risk of Transmission 

Recommended Reading
Study: Glaucoma-related Vision Loss may Increase Risk for Auto Accidents
Glaucoma group had about twice as many accidents finds a study....
Study Reveals How Defect in Cells Trigger Hearing, Vision Loss and Kidney Disease
Clues about which protein signaling molecules alert cells to critical changes in their ......
Digital Tablets Benefit People With Moderate Vision Loss
In people with moderate vision loss, digital tablets improve speed and ease of learning, states ......
Fatty Acid Found in Fish Prevents Age-related Vision Loss: Study
DHA - a fatty acid found in fish prevents age-related vision loss, say researchers....
AIDS - Initial Theories and Disease Progression
AIDS was first detected in early 1980s, among gays, Haitians and black Africans. HIV is a descendant...
AIDS / HIV - Treatment
Encyclopedia section of medindia explains in brief about the treatment for AIDS/HIV...
AIDS/HIV
"AIDS is an epidemic disease, a potentially preventable, deadly infection for which there is no cure...
AIDS/HIV - Clinical Features
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about HIV Clinical Features...
AIDS/HIV - Epidemiology
AIDS or HIV is an epidemic disease, a potentially deadly infection that can be prevented with preca...
AIDS/HIV - Health Education
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about AIDS information and health education....
AIDS/HIV - Prevention And Transmission
Encyclopedia section of medindia explains in brief about the prevention for AIDS/HIV...
AIDS/HIV - Worldwide distribution and Risk of Transmission
Epidemiologic studies indicate three broad yet distinct geographic patterns of transmission...
Oral Health And AIDS
AIDS has taken on massive proportions in modern times. It is estimated that over 15 million people a...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use