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Accom­mo­da­tion Behavior and Ciliary Muscle Activity in Myopia

Sandra Wagner – Hector Fellow Eberhart Zrenner

Kurzsich­tig­keit (Myopie) ist weltweit auf dem Vormarsch und wurde wegen des erhöh­ten Risikos schwe­rer Augen­er­kran­kun­gen wie Netzhaut­ab­lö­sung oder Glaukom ein öffent­li­ches Gesund­heits­pro­blem. Noch sind die Gründe der Myopie­ent­wick­lung nicht restlos geklärt, es wird jedoch ein Zusam­men­hang mit dem Nahseh­ver­hal­ten (Akkom­mo­da­tion) vermu­tet. Sandra Wagners verglei­chende Unter­su­chung des Akkom­mo­da­ti­ons­vor­gangs bei Normal- und Kurzsich­ti­gen trägt dazu bei, den aktuel­len Trend aufzuhalten.

Preva­lence of myopia (short­sigh­ted­ness) incre­a­ses consi­der­ably in indus­tria­li­zed countries. The mecha­nisms behind this develo­p­ment need to be fully unders­tood in order to attain preven­tion. Research has previously provi­ded indica­ti­ons suppor­ting a possi­ble link between myopia onset and near vision. The process of changing the eye lens’ refrac­tive power to adapt to diffe­rent viewing distan­ces, refer­red to as accom­mo­da­tion, is initia­ted by the ciliary muscle.

This PhD project, super­vi­sed by Hector Fellow Eberhart Zrenner, compa­red the accom­mo­da­tion system of young adults with myopia and emmetro­pia (normal sighted­ness) regar­ding changes in both crystal­line lens power and ciliary muscle morpho­logy during regular and sustai­ned accom­mo­da­tion. Further­more, the possi­bi­lity to volun­ta­rily control accom­mo­da­tion using auditory biofeed­back training was assessed.

Inves­ti­ga­ti­ons of the ciliary muscle’s anatomy were reali­zed using the imaging techni­que of optical coherence tomogra­phy (see Figure), and a new approach to evaluate morpho­lo­gic changes during the muscle’s contrac­tion was develo­ped. This tool will also lay the scien­ti­fic founda­tion for under­stan­ding how the ciliary muscle’s anato­mi­cal changes may corre­late with the neuro­nal signals control­ling its activity.

Findings derived from this project will allow a better under­stan­ding of accom­mo­da­tion, address unans­we­red question regar­ding myopia onset, and support the develo­p­ment of new devices.

Mechanical Metamaterial

Image of ciliary muscle (marked in red) during near accom­mo­da­tion in a young adult subject using optical coherence tomography

Sandra Wagner

Eberhard Karls Univer­si­tät Tübingen
   

Betreut durch

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult.

Eberhart Zrenner

Medizin, Biolo­gie & Ingenieurwesen

Hector Fellow seit 2012Disziplinen Eberhart Zrenner