The effects of aging and age-related macular degeneration on photoreceptor function and the supporting retinal pigment epithelial cells is the focus of this proposal. The extent of structural and functional damage across retinal area within retinal and subretinal layers will be probed. We will test the hypothesis that accumulation of subretinaI deposits leads to loss of photoreceptor function. In this context we have two long-term goals: first, to provide a better definition of what is normal aging, as opposed to early signs of disease; second, to understand the role of disease in the death of photoreceptors, including subretinal pathology such as deposits, new vessel membranes, and presence of fluid in detachment. We will determine which portions of the retina are damaged by apparently well-localized vs. diffuse retinal disease processes. This information can be of use for evaluating possible preventative measures, determining the focal effects of treatment, estimating prognosis, and understanding disease processes. To compare structure with function, we use a research Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope (SLO). To quantify subretinal pathologies we use infra-red imaging to quantify the size and location of sub-retinal features such as deposits, fluid accumulation, and sub-retinal vessels, even through cataract and hemorrhage. To quantify the composition of subretinal pathology, seen with infra-red imaging, and verify its position, we use fluorescein angiography. The location of potential damage to photoreceptors from deposited or exudative material is quantified. The composition of the subretinal pathology will be probed by the pattern of fluorescent binding. To assess the structural integrity of the central cones, their ability to direct light will be quantified with a reflectometric Stiles-Crawford I measurement. To quantify photopigment function, foveal cone and peripheral rod photopigment distribution are measured. Our retinal densitometry measurements are rapid and resistant to stray light. Visual sensitivity at selected retinal loci will be measured with increment threshold. These will be compared with predicted amounts of sensitivity loss from loci of structural damage and amount of photopigment present. Cross sectional studies of clinically normal adults quantify the a) subretinal changes and b) pattern across the retina of photoreceptor loss with aging and in groups at risk for age-related macular degeneration. A statistical definition of normal will be developed for early detection of age-related macular degeneration. We will compare the photopigment loss and structural changes in early and exudative disease in a cross-sectional study and how they are affected by hypertension.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Visual Sciences C Study Section (VISC)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Schepens Eye Research Institute
United States
Zip Code
Arthur, Edmund; Papay, Joel A; Haggerty, Bryan P et al. (2018) Subtle changes in diabetic retinas localised in 3D using OCT. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 38:477-491
VanNasdale, Dean A; Elsner, Ann E; Malinovsky, Victor E et al. (2018) Polarization Variability in Age-related Macular Degeneration. Optom Vis Sci 95:277-291
Cense, Barry; Miller, Donald T; King, Brett J et al. (2018) Measuring polarization changes in the human outer retina with polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography. J Biophotonics 11:e201700134
King, Brett J; Sapoznik, Kaitlyn A; Elsner, Ann E et al. (2017) SD-OCT and Adaptive Optics Imaging of Outer Retinal Tubulation. Optom Vis Sci 94:411-422
Elsner, Ann E; Chui, Toco Y P; Feng, Lei et al. (2017) Distribution differences of macular cones measured by AOSLO: Variation in slope from fovea to periphery more pronounced than differences in total cones. Vision Res 132:62-68
Marcos, Susana; Werner, John S; Burns, Stephen A et al. (2017) Vision science and adaptive optics, the state of the field. Vision Res 132:3-33
Clark, Christopher A; Elsner, Ann E; Konynenbelt, Benjamin J (2015) Eye shape using partial coherence interferometry, autorefraction, and SD-OCT. Optom Vis Sci 92:115-22
Burns, Stephen A; Elsner, Ann E; Chui, Toco Y et al. (2014) In vivo adaptive optics microvascular imaging in diabetic patients without clinically severe diabetic retinopathy. Biomed Opt Express 5:961-74
Chui, Toco Y P; VanNasdale, Dean A; Elsner, Ann E et al. (2014) The association between the foveal avascular zone and retinal thickness. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 55:6870-7
VanNasdale, Dean A; Elsner, Ann E; Peabody, Todd D et al. (2014) Henle fiber layer phase retardation changes associated with age-related macular degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 56:284-90

Showing the most recent 10 out of 31 publications