What your patient might ask you…

Did you hear there is way to detect glaucoma earlier?

Researchers at the University of Rochester have been working on that.
When we use OCT to measure the nerve fiber layer (NFL), we are measuring the thickness of the nerve fibers that are projected from the ganglion cells.  But by the time we see thinning in the NFL, there has already been tens of thousands of ganglion cells damaged.

What if we could see the individual ganglion cells?  A recent study was able to do just that.
The authors “were able to see retinal ganglion cells by modifying an existing technology – confocal adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO)”.  They used a technique called multi-offset detection where they “collected multiple images, varying the size and location of the detector used to gather light scattered out of the retina for each image, and then combined those images”.  More details about that method here.

The take home:
The ability to visualize individual ganglion cells could be transformative in earlier glaucoma diagnosis and prevention.