Our long-term goal is to establish functional indicators of eye health and predictors of vision loss in diabetes. Diabetic eye complications are the leading cause of blindness in US adults aged 25-74. Early diagnosis and development of effective preventatives and treatments of diabetic retinopathy are essential to save sight. Clinical trials aimed at either prevention or early treatments will rely heavily on the discovery of sensitive methods to identify patients and retinal locations at risk, as well as to evaluate treatment effects. Classical vision measures (e.g. visual acuity) fail to reveal functional change even in the early stages of retinopathy, and none tests multiple local retinal locations except visual fields. We have successfully revealed such specific local retinal functional changes with the multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG), which allows the simultaneous recording of responses from over 100 small retinal patches across the macula. Our multivariate model including mfERG delays achieved 86% sensitivity and 84% specificity for prediction of future retinopathy at specific locations in eyes with some retinopathy at baseline. The prediction of retinal location relies solely on the mfERG delays. Now we propose to create new models of priority clinical importance (a) to predict the onset of retinopathy and its retinal location in eyes with no prior retinopathy;(b) to locally predict future sight-threatening diabetic macular edema. As a separate aim we will explore two retinal mechanisms of the mfERG delays that are so crucial for prediction in diabetic patients. These studies will add significantly to understanding retinal sites of diabetes actions. The ability to predict the retinal locations of future retinopathy provides clinicians a powerful tool to screen, follow up, and even consider early prophylactic treatment of the retinal tissue in diabetic patients. It also aids identification of 'at risk'populations for clinical trials of candidate therapies, which may greatly reduce their cost by decreasing the size of the needed sample and the duration of the trial.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Biology and Diseases of the Posterior Eye Study Section (BDPE)
Program Officer
Neuhold, Lisa
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California Berkeley
Schools of Optometry/Ophthalmol
United States
Zip Code
Ozawa, Glen Y; Bearse Jr, Marcus A; Adams, Anthony J (2015) Male-female differences in diabetic retinopathy? Curr Eye Res 40:234-46
Wolff, B E; Bearse Jr, M A; Schneck, M E et al. (2015) Color vision and neuroretinal function in diabetes. Doc Ophthalmol 130:131-9
Dhamdhere, Kavita P; Schneck, Marilyn E; Bearse Jr, Marcus A et al. (2014) Assessment of macular function using the SKILL Card in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 55:3368-74
Ozawa, Glen Y; Bearse Jr, Marcus A; Harrison, Wendy W et al. (2014) Differences in neuroretinal function between adult males and females. Optom Vis Sci 91:602-7
Adams, Anthony J; Bearse Jr, Marcus A (2012) Retinal neuropathy precedes vasculopathy in diabetes: a function-based opportunity for early treatment intervention? Clin Exp Optom 95:256-65
Tam, Johnny; Dhamdhere, Kavita P; Tiruveedhula, Pavan et al. (2012) Subclinical capillary changes in non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Optom Vis Sci 89:E692-703
Ozawa, Glen Y; Bearse Jr, Marcus A; Bronson-Castain, Kevin W et al. (2012) Neurodegenerative differences in the retinas of male and female patients with type 2 diabetes. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 53:3040-6
Harrison, Wendy W; Chang, Ann; Cardenas, Maria G et al. (2012) Blood pressure, vessel caliber, and retinal thickness in diabetes. Optom Vis Sci 89:1715-20
Laron, Michal; Bearse Jr, Marcus A; Bronson-Castain, Kevin et al. (2012) Association between local neuroretinal function and control of adolescent type 1 diabetes. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 53:7071-6
Laron, Michal; Bearse Jr, Marcus A; Bronson-Castain, Kevin et al. (2012) Interocular symmetry of abnormal multifocal electroretinograms in adolescents with diabetes and no retinopathy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 53:316-21

Showing the most recent 10 out of 59 publications