Title: Effect of Topical Latanoprost on Myopia Progression in Guinea Pigs
Abstract: Myopia (near-sightedness) results from progressive, excessive eye enlargement and is associated with blinding complications. It has become a significant public health concern, reaching epidemic levels in some parts of the world. The eye is like a balloon, with pressure inside the eye (IOP) exerting a stretching
influence on the outer (scleral) wall of the eye and the lamina cribrosa, a sieve-like structure through which nerves relaying visual information from the eyes seeing layer (retina) pass to the brain. The specific aim is to determine, using the guinea pig as a myopia model, whether IOP lowering drugs used in glaucoma patients can also be used to slow eye enlargement as a myopia treatment. Guinea pigs will wear white plastic diffusers over one eye, as an established method for inducing myopia, from 2 weeks of age for 3 months. The same eyes of half of the animals will be treated with IOP-lowering drugs and the others with artificial tears. Animals will undergo weekly eye examinations that include measurements of eye length, refractive error, and IOP. We hope this will lead to new treatment options for patients with progressive myopia.
Patrick Carney, PhD Candidate
Title: Exploring Gender's Role in Myopia Progression
Abstract: Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a visual condition that causes distant objects to appear out-of-focus. Its importance, as a major public health concern, is often underestimated. In large part this owes to our ability to correct optically for refractive errors with both glasses and contact lenses. Less appreciated is the fact that myopia is one of the leading causes of acquired legal blindness worldwide, via the induction of secondary pathologies. In addition to simply inducing refractive errors, the eye of myopic patients physically enlarges, elongating axially. This axial enlargement is driven by remodeling, thinning and expansion of the sclera, which in turn, disproportionately places myopes at an elevated risk of developing secondary blinding
ocular pathologies (i.e. glaucoma, maculopathies, retinal detachments, etc.). Interestingly, rates of myopia across the genders vary. Women experience the condition at higher rates and with greater severity. The condition seems to progress fastest around puberty. These observations indicate that gender dependent
endocrine regulation may play a role in myopia development. We are studying this in the context of sexhormone receptor and cognate ligand synthesis in the sclera.