New Lens Available: The IC-8 Lens


1.19.17_Eyeball IC-8 Graphics_(4)3

We usually begin to notice a decrease in our quality of vision somewhere in our 40s. It likely starts with blurry near vision and progresses to loss of image sharpness. This decrease in visual quality is due to changes in your eye’s natural lens. It’s a totally natural change that happens to everyone eventually. Whether this is due to presbyopia or cataracts, LaserVision are now pleased to offer a new lens option to restore vision at every distance, the IC-8™ lens.

The IC-8™ lens is designed to give you:

  • Excellent image quality at all distances, so you can drive, read the newspaper and work on your computer without glasses
    • Quality near and intermediate vision without compromising far vision
    • Good quality night vision

How does the IC-8 Lens work?

After a full eye examination is completed, and it is determined you are a suitable candidate for a lens replacement or cataract surgery, the doctor will discuss your options available to you.

The IC-8 lens replaces your eye’s natural lens and provides clear vision at all distances. The lens includes a small ring with a pinhole in the centre. This advanced design helps focus the light entering the eye and once again allows you to see from near to far clearly.

The images below help show how your eye is currently focusing light and how it can be restored with the IC-8 lens.

To find out if the IC-8™ lens is suitable for you, please book a consultation at your nearest LaserVision clinic online here or call 0800 024 8888.

Q&A Series: KAMRA Treatment FAQs


kamra faqs

Presbyopia is a condition that will inevitably affect everyone as they age and the highly acclaimed KAMRATM provides proven solution to this frustrating problem. Discover all you need to know about this innovative treatment in our latest blog post.

What is presbyopia?

The lens in your eye is stretchy and flexible. With time, the lens stiffens. As a result it can no longer bend into the right shape to bring close objects into focus. To compensate, you end up moving objects further away at just the right distance to focus. This is why you start holding reading materials at arm’s length. The clinical term is presbyopia (prez-bee-‘O-pee-uh) and it happens to everyone eventually.

What is the KAMRA inlay?

The KAMRA inlay helps restore near vision and reduce the constant frustrations of reading glasses for those with presbyopia or blurry near vision. By providing a natural range of vision you can see — from near to far. It also offers long-term performance to help you continue to enjoy clear vision over time, even as presbyopia progresses.

How does the KAMRA inlay restore near vision?

The KAMRA inlay sits in the first few layers of the eye known as the cornea. Smaller and thinner than a contact lens, the inlay is a mini-ring with an opening in the centre. By using this pinhole effect, the inlay focuses light coming into the eye. This restores near vision while maintaining your distance vision.

How can I find out if the KAMRA inlay is right for me?

Regardless of when you lost your reading vision, the KAMRA inlay may be right for you. The first step in evaluation is to have a consultation and comprehensive eye exam. Following a series of specialised test, your consultant will discuss your suitability for this procedure.

Who can benefit from the KAMRA inlay?

The KAMRA inlay is ideal for individuals who have lost their near vision due to presbyopia and desire to do everyday activities without reading glasses. Presbyopia happens to almost everyone in their 40s or 50s when the eye’s natural lens becomes too stiff to focus up close.

What benefits does the inlay provide?

The KAMRA inlay restores everyday vision so you can see text messages, a computer screen and the time on your wristwatch, without the frustration of reading glasses or contact lenses. It provides a natural range of vision – from near to far and offers long-term performance to help you enjoy clear near vision over time.

How much of an improvement can I expect?

The amount of near vision improvement varies by individual. However, most patients can expect their near visual acuities to improve an average of three lines or more.

How can I accelerate my recovery?

You can help your eyes heal faster and improve your vision by:

  • Taking eye drops as prescribed
  • Avoiding reading glasses
  • Keeping all follow-up appointments

Your doctor will discuss your post-op healing process prior to your procedure.

To find out if the KAMRATM Inlay is suitable for you, book a consultation at your nearest LaserVision clinic online here or call 0800 024 8888.

Patient Stories: Keratoconus Treatment and Advanced Technology


man-person-sunglasses-relaxing

Our latest patient story focuses on how even multiple aberrations and eye conditions such as keratoconus can still be treated to achieve lens free vision.

Background

Mr Ragin Patel visited our consultant Mr Mike Tappin at our Guildford clinic as he had severe Keratoconus affecting his vision. The prescription in his glasses had deteriorated to -20 dioptres. Up until this point, Mr Patel had used specialist contact lenses to aid his vision however these could no longer be tolerated as they became extremely uncomfortable, particularly in the right eye. After much consideration, Mr Tappin performed a right corneal transplant which was a great success. Mr Patel then developed a cataract which Mike treated with a toric lens implant to correct the remaining astigmatism and short sightedness. This improved his vision greatly however Mr Patel still required a specialist contact lens for the left eye and glasses for the right.

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an eye disease that causes the central area of the cornea to become weak and thinner, making the shape ‘bulge’ in an irregular manner. This results in a refractive error with the end result being distorted vision. The cornea is the transparent dome-shaped front part of our eyes, allowing for focusing of the eye. To function properly it must be smooth and appropriately shaped.
Find out more about Kerataconus here.

The solution

Some years later Mr Patel returned to us feeling the keratoconus in the left eye was getting worse and did not want to use a specialist contact lens any more. Technology had improved since his first visit and instead of a transplant, Mike performed Topographic Guided Laser Treatment to the left eye. Advanced Topographic Guided Laser Treatment is one of the most precise methods of reducing higher order aberrations in patients with keratoconus which worked wonders for Mr Patel. Following Topographic Guided Laser Treatment, we also performed cataract surgery and undertook laser vision correction treatment on the right eye to correct the vision and now he has excellent vision in both eyes without glasses!

If you would like to talk to one of our expert Consultants about your vision or eye condition, please get in touch to book a consultation with us at your nearest clinic online here or phone us on 0800 024 8888. 

Further reading:
Advanced Topographic Guided Laser Treatment
Premium Cataract Surgery
Keratoconus

Laser Cataract Lens Surgery FAQs


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Cataracts are an unavoidable part of ageing however simple lens surgery provides a quick remedy with most patients able to resume their normal activities the next day. Standard cataract surgery will replace the cataract but you will still require lenses to achieve good vision. Modern technology however has now advanced to offer a more personalised treatment and alleviate the need for lenses with unparalleled precision. Find out more about Laser Cataract Lens Surgery below…

Why should I have the laser cataract procedure over the standard procedure?

Laser cataract surgery uses femtosecond laser technology which incorporates an OCT imaging system that is used to create a detailed 3-D image of the inside of the eye, meaning the surgeon can plan, customise and perform the entire procedure with an unprecedented degree of precision and accuracy. Femtosecond lasers are accurate to within 1/1000th mm.

What are the benefits of the Ziemer Z8 over the other laser cataract platforms?

All laser platforms are designed using a system which requires the patient to position perfectly to fit the laser, which presents some challenges for patients as they get older. The Ziemer Z8 is unique in that the laser adapts to the patients position, meaning that the experience is comfortable and much easier to achieve success.

The other major benefit for the Ziemer Z8 is the laser is the lowest energy laser in the world, using nearly 100 times less energy per pulse to achieve the same outcomes as other lasers. By delivering this low energy nearly 1000 times quicker, the result is a faster, safer and more precise procedure meaning that your vision will recover quicker and with minimal inflammation.

Does this mean the non-laser method is unsafe?

No it does not. The standard lens extraction method is one of the most common surgical procedures in the world today. The laser cataract procedure simply brings a new level of tailored, reproducible precision.

What is the difference between the two methods?

With laser cataract surgery a 3-D model is created of your eye and biometric data is automatically calculated which is specifically tailored to your own eye. This makes the procedure extremely precise.

The laser is then used to create the incisions and soften the lens in a very precise way, using the 3-D image as a guide. In some cases, the use of femtosecond laser technology may also reduce the time it takes to remove your lens.

With the standard procedure, the steps are all performed manually.

How new is femtosecond laser technology?

Femtosecond laser technology was given approval in the United States and Europe in 2012, after many years of trials and testing, and has become a procedure now adopted by many of the world’s leading ophthalmology centres.

How many patients have already undergone this surgery?

It is estimated that over 100,000 cataract procedure have now been performed with femtosecond laser.

How do I know if I’m suitable?

Most patients are suitable for this technology, and as part of your initial consultation we undertake thorough diagnostic tests and check the health of your eye to ascertain if you are suitable.

How long does it take?

The total laser cataract procedure takes around two minutes followed by the lens being removed by the surgeon and the new artificial lens being placed in your eye. The total time for the laser cataract procedure is roughly 10 minutes.

Does laser cataract surgery hurt?

No. Laser cataract surgery technology was designed with patient comfort in mind, so you can relax, knowing you have the latest technology available to treat one of your most valuable senses – your sight. You may experience a little redness to the eye following surgery.

What will I see during the procedure?

You may briefly see bright starlight images.

 

If you would like to enquire further about Laser Cataract Lens Surgery, please call us on 0800 024 8888 or online here. http://www.laservision.co.uk/contact-us/

Q&A Series: If Laser Eye Surgery is Cheaper Elsewhere, Why Should I Choose LaserVision?


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Comparing clinics when choosing which vision correction provider to treat something as precious as your eyes can be extremely difficult, especially when budget is a major factor in your decision. You may find that a lot of high street clinics do work out cheaper, especially when they are tempting you with one-off deals and heavily discounted offers on treatment, which will inevitably lead to the question, why should I use LaserVision when they are not the cheapest?

High street vs Hospital Based

While many vision correction companies are based in cheaper clinic/high street settings, LaserVision clinics are only based within the safety and governance of leading NHS and private hospitals, to give our patients the best level of care available.

One fits all vs Personalised Treatment

LaserVision was founded on a passion for personalised treatment, which is a big part of what sets us apart from other providers who offer standard treatments. Our consultant surgeons and health care team tailor each consult, treatment procedure and aftercare plan to cater to your specific needs. We can guarantee you won’t feel like a number with LaserVision.

Sales person vs Consultant led Consultation

Unlike some clinics, we never use a consultation to give you a sales pitch. With LaserVision, you will always see a specialist Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon who will thoroughly assess your eyes to determine your suitability for vision correction treatment. If you are suitable, your consultant will then talk with you at length about what treatment options are recommended for your eyes. This will also give you the time to discuss the benefits, affordability and all the facts before making your decision. We will never send you offers or deals in a bid to persuade you into surgery when you may not be ready.

Surgeons vs Experts

Unfortunately, you don’t have to be a corneal specialist to perform laser eye surgery. All laser eye surgeons will need to undergo the relevant training and pass exams however LaserVision only employ specialists to give the personalised treatment we believe in. As specialists in complex corneal and intra-ocular surgery, the surgeons at LaserVision offer many procedures beyond laser eye surgery, including lens surgery, implantable contact lenses, corneal segments and corneal grafts. All our surgeons are Fellows of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and are members of both the European and American society of refractive surgeons. LaserVision surgeons also lead the corneal service in their trusts and boast specialist fellowship training in cornea and refractive surgery.

Suitable vs Leading Technology

Opposed to selecting technology and equipment for its price and general suitability, our industry leading equipment has been personally selected by our team of surgeons to get the very best results for our patients.

So what does this all mean?

At LaserVision, our specialist treatments may cost slightly more, but you really do get what you pay for. The unrivalled expertise you will receive from our Consultant Surgeons, the hospital based setting, industry leading technology and extremely high level of care is what you will be paying for. With something as precious as your sight, we believe this is the only way.

Read our patient testimonials on independent review site, TrustPilot here.

Q&A Series: What are the Latest Advancements in Laser Eye Surgery & Vision Correction?


advancements in laser eye surgery

Gone are the days when laser eye surgery was only suitable for the most clear cut of patient prescriptions. Technology and expertise have advanced a great deal in recent years, meaning vision correction is now available to a much wider range of people with even the most complex of refractive errors. Read on to see if these new laser eye treatments could work for you…

kamra-fda-approvedKAMRA Vision™ Lens Technology

To Treat: Long sightedness (Hyperopia) and age-related long sightedness (Presbyopia)

What is KAMRA Vision™?

Now FDA approved, the KAMRA™ Inlay is a mini ultra-thin opaque ring with an opening in the centre. It is much smaller than a contact lens and lighter than a grain of salt. The opening in the centre of the inlay restores near and intermediate vision by focusing light coming into the eye. In addition, the inlay’s advanced design features 8,400 high precision, laser etched micro-openings along the surface to help your cornea stay healthy.

Benefits:
• Procedure time takes less than 15 minutes.
• Improved vision will be noticed within a few days.
• Provides natural vision without compromise.
• Restores everyday near vision and reduces the need for reading glasses.
• Revives near and computer vision, while maintaining good distance vision.
• Works continuously for constant, long term near vision rejuvenation.
• Proven with over 10 years of clinical research and development.

Find out more here.

ReLEx (Refractive Lenticule Extraction)Relex_

To Treat: Short Sightedness (myopia)

What is ReLEx?

ReLEx SMILE(Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is a ground-breaking new technique that take laser vision correction for short-sight beyond LASIK. It uses the femtosecond laser to precisely separate and then remove a ‘lenticule’ (a very thin disc) of tissue to re-shape the cornea and change its lens power.

Benefits:
• Rapid visual recovery
• Minimal Post-operative discomfort
• Suitable for higher prescriptions
• Idea for patients with thin corneas
• 20 minute procedure

Find out more about ReLEx here.

Premium Lens TechnologyINTACs

To Treat: Short sightedness, Long Sightedness, Astigmatism, Presbyopia, Cataracts.

What is Premium Lens Technology?

LaserVision is pleased to offer a wide variety of Premium Lens options which can treat and wide range of refractive errors and offer the chance to reduce dependency from glasses which was not before possible. This is especially popular with our premium cataract treatment, whereby patients can experience better vision than having experienced before the cataract developed.

Multi-focus lenses have begun to make a significant impact in treating vision correction meaning that following treatment, patients may have clear vision up close, at intermediate distances and at far distance. It may eliminate the need for bifocals or reading glasses. Prior to this lens implants were fixed-focus, which gave patients clear distance vision, but meant they still needed to wear reading glasses.

What Types of Lenses are Available?

There are several types of lens and these are namely; monofocal, multifocal (also called bifocal), accommodative, toric for the correction of astigmatism and phakic lenses. Sometimes combining lenses is necessary and it may even be necessary to have lenses specially made.

Find out if you are suitable for vision correction with premium lens technology by enquiring with us online here.

The latest Z8 Femtosecond Laser TechnologyZ8 Femtosecond Laser

LaserVision are proud to be the ONLY centre to offer the Z8 Femtosecond Laser technology for unprecedented and unrivalled precision and safety for many procedures including cataract and RLE procedures.

Some of the many benefits of the new Z8 laser are:
• Faster eye recovery time compared to previous and current femtosecond laser technology.
• OCT technology to allow for micron precision laser pulses for increased accuracy.
• The fastest and lowest energy laser on the market.
• Minimal side effects.
• Fast procedure time.

Procedures available using the Z8 Laser:
• Laser cataract surgery
• KAMRA
• Bladeless LASIK
• Customised partial thickness and full thickness corneal transplants
• Inverse DSAEK

Here at LaserVision, we only believe in personalized vision correction which is why every procedure and aftercare plan is tailored to suit each patient. To determine which treatment option will give you the best results possible, please enquire to book a consultation at your nearest clinic online here or give us a call on 0800 024 8888.

Patient Stories: A World First…


Read the first in our patient story series where we look back on a case in which our expert Consultant Surgeon Mike Tappin developed a world-first pioneering surgical technique, now used by surgeons worldwide.

Background

Mr Ron Hoad came to our specialist Consultant Surgeon Mr Mike Tappin at our Guildford clinic after having a routine cataract operation. Unfortunately he had a condition affecting his cornea called fuchs endothelial dystrophy. This meant he was experiencing complications following surgery which led to the cornea becoming cloudy giving further vision problems, especially with glare at night.

What is fuch’s endothelial dystrophy?

Fuch’s endothelial dystrophy (FED) is a slowly progressive disease. There is a slow loss of endothelial cells from the inner layer of the cornea. If the number of cells drops below a critical density the cornea will begin to become cloudy and blur the vision. Although early signs of the dystrophy can be seen in people of their 30s and 40s, the disease rarely affects the vision until the person reaches their 60s or later. Happily, many patients may have microscopic signs of FED without ever having any significant visual symptoms. Find out more.

The solution

After a thorough consultation and discussions with Mr Hoad, it was decided to perform a corneal transplant, which involved a revolutionary technique pioneered by Mike Tappin. Mr Hoad underwent the first true endothelial cell transplant, which was the first of its kind in the world at the time. This technique has now paved the way for the procedure now commonly called, DMEK.

The result

Postoperatively, Mr Road had very successful visual recovery and with new glasses he achieved 20/20 vision. However after some time, the other eye began too become misty. It was decided to undergo combined cataract and corneal surgery at the same time, repeating the technique previously used on his other eye . Within 3 months, Mr Road’s vision was excellent.

Long lasting results

The first part of his surgery was performed in February 2005 and the second part in Jan 2006. 12 years on, Mr Road is still experiencing excellent vision and is happy driving and working after the original surgery – a testament to the longevity of results from the pioneering surgery.

If you would like to talk to one of our expert Consultants about your vision, please get in touch to book a consultation with us at your nearest clinic online here or phone us on 0800 024 8888.

Q&A Series: Will Laser Eye Surgery Correct a Reading Prescription


laser eye surgery to correct a reading prescription

Forgetting your reading glasses is a common frustration for many people and even when you do have them, finding them to read something or look at a picture is quite simply an everyday irritation. Many patients who come to LaserVision often ask us if laser eye surgery will correct a reading prescription and the simple answer is yes! Read on for a breakdown on which treatments will get the best results to correct a Hyperopia (long sightedness) and Presbyopia (age related long sightedness).

Please note as everyone’s eyes are different, we will only recommend a treatment plan after a comprehensive eye assessment at a consultation with one of our renowned Consultant Eye Surgeons who are all corneal experts. Book a consultation at your nearest clinic here.

LASIK

The most common form of laser vision correction in the world, LASIK aims to reduce a patient’s dependence on their glasses or contact lenses with current research suggests that over 99% of patients reach the legal driving standard without glasses or lenses following LASIK treatment.

LASIK is a virtually painless procedure and most patients only need anaesthetic drops to numb the eye prior to having this performed. The majority of patients say they feel no pain at all, though some mention feeling mild pressure or vibration during their treatment.

Find out more about LASIK for treating a reading prescription here.

 

Refractive Lens Exchange

With the ability to correct any prescription error including long sightedness, Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) or PRELEX is the alternative solution to laser eye surgery for those who are over the age of 40 and want a permanent solution for vision correction. With major advances in lens technology, this procedure involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens to restore vision.

The artificial lens can be of the correct focusing power to correct the vision and reduce or alleviate the requirement for glasses. The procedure is more advanced form of cataract surgery as the lens inserted is more technologically superior and the results more accurate.

Find out more about Refractive Lens Exchange Treatment for reading prescriptions here.

 

KAMRA Vision

The KAMRA™ Inlay is not laser eye surgery but a tiny eye implant that restores near sight, providing a welcome alternative to reading glasses for patients with presbyopia.

Regardless of when you lost your near vision, the KAMRA™ Inlay may be able to restore it. Whether glasses or contact lenses have always been a part of your life or you have just started wearing reading glasses, the KAMRA inlay has the ability to reduce or eliminate your need for reading glasses.

Find out more about the KAMRA™ Inlay here.

 

Laser Vision Correction with Blended Vision

Blended Vision is an advanced method for treating patients with presbyopia. It offers the opportunity to achieve freedom from glasses by combining the simplicity and accuracy of corneal refractive surgery with the benefits of increased depth of field in retaining visual quality.

Find out more about Blended Vision to correct a reading prescription here.

 

To find out which treatment would be most suitable to correct your reading prescription, please book a consultation at your nearest LaserVision clinic here.

Laser Eye Surgery in Nottingham – Clinic Showcase


Laser Eye Surgery Nottingham

In the latest in our new clinic showcases, we’re pleased to feature our new Nottingham clinic as we continue to expand our unique offering of personalised vision correction across the UK.

We’re pleased to host our laser eye clinic within the BMI The Park Hospital in Nottingham; part of BMI Healthcare, Britain’s leading provider of independent healthcare. BMI are a nationwide network of hospitals clinics performing more complex surgery than any other private healthcare provider in the country.

Consultations and Treatments available at LaserVision Nottingham:

  • Cataract Surgery
  • Refractive Lens Exchange
  • Corneal Cross Linking
  • Corneal Grafts
  • Implantable Contact Lens

Resident Consultant Surgeon at LaserVision Nottingham: Professor Harminder Dua MBBS, DO, DO (Lond), MS, MNAMS, FRCS, FRCOphth, FEBO, MD, PhD , FRCP (Edin) and FCOptom.

Professor Dua is an internationally renowned Ophthalmologist who has influenced and continues to influence all aspects of ophthalmology across the globe through his activities related to teaching, training, research and innovation. He is a world authority on cornea and ocular surface disease.

Specialist in: Cornea, Ocular Surface, Anterior Segment, Cataract, Refractive Laser & Lens Surgery.

Notable achievements: Just to mention a few, Harminder has enhanced clinical and basic knowledge in ophthalmology through over 320 publications and over a thousand presentations in international meetings. His surgical innovations, including Fine Needle Diathermy (FND) occlusion of corneal vessels, Sequential Sector Conjunctival Epitheliectomy (SSCE), Alcohol Delamination in management of recurrent corneal erosion syndrome and classification of chemical burns of the ocular surface (Dua Classification) are practiced internationally and have changed clinical practice. He currently serves as Editor in chief of the Journal of EuCornea, Member of the International steering committee of the second dry eye workshop (DEWS II), Chairman elect of the Advisory committee of the International Council of Ophthalmology and as Civilian consultant adviser to the Royal Air Force.

Fellowships: Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (F.R.C. Ophth.), the European Board of Ophthalmology (FEBO), Fellow of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and Honorary Fellow of the College of Optometrists, United Kingdom.

Read Harminder’s full profile here.

Resident Consultant Surgeon at LaserVision Nottingham: Mrs Dalia G Said MBChB, MSc, MD, FRCS

Specialist in: Cornea, Ocular Surface, Anterior Segment, Cataract, Refractive Laser & Lens Surgery.

Dalia Said is a vastly experienced and highly trained consultant ophthalmologist in Nottingham University Hospital (NUH) with a special interest in cornea and ocular surface, cataract and lens surgery. She is also the clinical lead for eye casualty at Nottingham University Hospital and is an expert in eye emergencies.

Notable achievements: Dalia is the clinical lead for eye casualty at Nottingham University Hospital and is an expert in eye emergencies while also having extensive experience in managing complex corneal infections, performing refractive surgery and was at the forefront of collagen cross-linking for infections and keratoconus.

Fellowships & memberships: Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Glasgow, member of the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons, American Academy of Ophthalmologists, Medical contact lens and ocular surface association, Egyptian ophthalmologic society and the Egyptian society of cataract and refractive surgery.

Read Dalia’s full profile here.

Nottingham BMI The Park Hospital Facilities:

• 85 beds
• All rooms feature en-suite facilities
• Satellite TV and telephone
• Five theatres
• Intensive care unit
• Nutritional menus
• Ample car park

Location:
BMI The Park Hospital
Sherwood Lodge Drive
Burntstump Country Park Arnold
Nottingham
Nottinghamshire
NG5 8RX

Contact details:
T: 0115 731 2020
E: nottingham@laservision.co.uk

Make an enquiry to book your consultation at LaserVision Nottingham HERE

The Eye’s Ability to Regenerate Found in Zebrafish Study


zebrafish regenerate eyes

The ability of fish eyes to regenerate following damage or injury has long been known however new research is now paving the way for new therapies for humans.

As humans, we can encounter a number of different eye conditions and damage that unfortunately don’t have the ability to repair themselves. Such conditions include age-related macular degeneration and Retinitis Pigmentosa. Fish eyes however have the unique ability to restore sight within a few weeks and the new research that has just been published could one day help develop ways to induce self-regeneration within the human-eye.

As cited on mnt, “The researchers started out from the hypothesis that a neurotransmitter might be responsible for retinal regeneration in fish. Fish and mammals have a very similar retinal structure, so Mahesh Rao – a graduate student and study co-author – thought of extrapolating the results of a mouse study and test them on zebrafish.

The mouse study that triggered Rao’s hypothesis discovered that this neurotransmitter – called GABA – controlled the activity of some retinal stem cells. GABA neurotransmitters normally act as inhibitors, lowering a neuron’s ability to excite the neurons around it. GABA neurotransmitters are very prevalent in the brain, occurring in 30 to 40 percent of all the synapses.

Among other cells, the retina also contains a type of stem cell called Müller glia. In humans and other mammals, these cells provide “architectural support” that traverse all of the retina’s layers – but in fish, these glial cells also play a crucial role in regeneration.

During the regenerative process, these cells undergo a form of regression called dedifferentiation, meaning that they go from a specialized state back to a more general, simpler state. They then differentiate again, but this time into replacements for the nerve cells that were damaged.”

The study’s lead author explains the findings and the contribution of the research:

The prevailing belief has been that the regeneration process in fish retinas is triggered by secreted growth factors, but our results indicate that the neurotransmitter GABA might initiate the process instead […] Our theory is that a drop in GABA concentration is the trigger for regeneration. It initiates a cascade of events that includes the activation of the Müller glia and the production of various growth factors that stimulate cell growth and proliferation. If we are correct, then it might be possible to stimulate human retinas to repair themselves by treating them with a GABA inhibitor.”

This is incredible research with huge potential and we shall continue to keep our readers up-to-date with further progress on this research.


In association with:
Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Greater Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust