Pathophysiology of Vision

Pathophysiologie des Sehens

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Research topics

The scientific aim of the group is the elucidation of causes of hereditary retinal degeneration, differentiation of the various forms by novel sensitive and specific function tests in combination with imaging and the development and investigation of novel therapeutic approaches.

This aim is pursued in close cooperation with the molecular genetic laboratory (Prof. Wissinger), studies of disease processes in mouse models (Prof. Seeliger), the university eye hospital (Prof.Bartz-Schmidt), and the Steinbeis center eyetrial for clinical studies (Prof. Barbara Wilhelm, Dr. Peters). The clinic for hereditary retinal degeneration, founded in 1989, is investigating annually approximately 500 patients with refined phenotyping tools. Moreover four physicians are working in clinical studies in selected patient groups. These clinical studies are supported by several national and international grants, clinical research group of DFG, EU, and BMBF.

Developments of novel function testing help enormously to increase sensitivity and specitivity of differential diagnoses and phenotype/genotype correlation.

This is complemented by preclinical investigations in mice and rats for safety and efficacy. For novel therapy approaches the group participates in international trials on neuroprotection (Brimonidine) on retinal substitution (QLT study) and since 1995 in a major, now multicenter international trial, where it has taken the leadership in developing a subretinal electronic multiphotodiode array for restitution of visual functions in patients blind from hereditary retinal degeneration.