Optometry and Vision Sciences - Research Publications

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    Vitamin B-3: More than meets the eye
    Hui, F ; Casson, RJ (WILEY, 2022-09-01)
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    The effect of mental load on psychophysical and visual evoked potential visual acuity
    Mahjoob, M ; Shandiz, JH ; Anderson, AJ (WILEY, 2022-02-12)
    PURPOSE: Under real-world conditions, tasks dependent on visual acuity may need to be performed in the presence of a mental load arising from concurrent, non-visual tasks. Therefore, measuring visual acuity concurrently with mentally demanding tasks may reflect a patient's vision more accurately. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of task-induced mental load on high contrast visual acuity, as measured using a letter chart and estimated via sweep visual evoked potentials (sweep VEP). METHODS: Visual acuity was determined using the Freiburg Vision Test, and also using sweep VEP tested stepwise, from coarse to fine, over 13 spatial frequencies, in 31 healthy participants (aged 22.4 ± 3.6 years). Recordings were repeated while participants concurrently performed an auditory 2-back task. Mental load of the n-back task was confirmed through subjective ratings. RESULTS: Visual acuity determined with the Freiburg Vision Test worsened from -0.02 ± 0.12 to 0.04 ± 0.15 logMAR under mental load (p = 0.03). Visual acuities estimated by sweep VEPs worsened from 0.38 ± 0.1 to 0.47 ± 0.1 logMAR (p < 0.001). While the slope of the VEP amplitude versus spatial frequency function steepened significantly with mental load (p = 0.01), VEP noise levels were not significantly affected (p = 0.07). CONCLUSION: Visual acuity reduces significantly with a concurrent task that produces mental load. At least part of this reduction appears to be related to alterations in responses within the visual cortex, rather than being purely attributable to higher-level distraction effects.
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    A biomarker and endophenotype for anorexia nervosa?
    Phillipou, A ; Rossell, SL ; Gurvich, C ; Castle, DJ ; Meyer, D ; Abel, LA (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2022-08-01)
    OBJECTIVE: Recent research has suggested that a type of atypical eye movement, called square wave jerks, together with anxiety, may distinguish individuals with anorexia nervosa from those without anorexia nervosa and may represent a biomarker and endophenotype for the illness. The aim of this study was to identify the presence of this proposed marker in individuals currently with anorexia nervosa relative to healthy controls, and to identify the state independence and heritability of this putative marker by exploring whether it also exists in individuals who are weight-restored from anorexia nervosa and first-degree relatives (i.e. sisters of people with anorexia nervosa). METHODS: Data from 80 female participants (20/group: current anorexia nervosa, weight-restored from anorexia nervosa, sisters of people with anorexia nervosa and healthy controls) were analysed. Square wave jerk rate was acquired during a fixation task, and anxiety was measured with the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. RESULTS: Current anorexia nervosa, weight-restored from anorexia nervosa and sisters of people with anorexia nervosa groups made significantly more square wave jerks than healthy controls, but did not differ from one another. Square wave jerk rate and anxiety were found to discriminate groups with exceptionally high accuracy (current anorexia nervosa vs healthy control = 92.5%; weight-restored from anorexia nervosa vs healthy control = 77.5%; sisters of people with anorexia nervosa vs healthy control = 77.5%; p < .001). CONCLUSION: The combination of square wave jerk rate and anxiety was found to be a promising two-element marker for anorexia nervosa, and has the potential to be used as a biomarker or endophenotype to identify people at risk of anorexia nervosa and inform future treatments.
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    The Effects of Glare on the Perception of Visual Motion as a Function of Age
    Sepulveda, JA ; Wood, JM ; Anderson, AJ ; McKendrick, AM (ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC, 2022-09)
    PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of glare, that simulated the effects of oncoming vehicle headlights, and age on different aspects of motion perception in central and peripheral vision. METHODS: Twenty younger (mean age = 25 years, range = 20-32 years) and 20 older (mean age = 70 years, range = 60-79 years) visually healthy adults completed four visual motion tasks. Stimuli were presented centrally and at 15 degrees horizontal eccentricity for 2 viewing conditions: glare (continuous, off-axis) versus no glare. Motion tasks included minimum Gabor contrast required to discriminate direction of motion, translational global motion coherence, minimum duration of a Gabor to determine direction of motion (2 different size Gabors to determine spatial surround suppression), and biological motion detection in noise. Intraocular straylight was also measured (C-Quant). RESULTS: Older adults had increased intraocular straylight compared with younger adults (P < 0.001). There was no significant effect of glare on motion thresholds in either group for motion contrast (P = 0.47), translational global motion (P = 0.13), biological motion (P = 0.18), or spatial surround suppression of motion (P = 0.29). Older adults had elevated thresholds for motion contrast (P < 0.001), biological motion (P < 0.001), and differences in surround suppression of motion (P = 0.04), relative to the younger group, for both the glare and no-glare conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Although older adults had elevated thresholds for some motion perception tasks, glare from a continuous off-axis light source did not further elevate these thresholds either in central or peripheral vision. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: A glare source that simulated the effect of oncoming headlights, did not impact motion perception measures relevant to driving.
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    Video game training in traumatic brain injury patients: an exploratory case report study using eye tracking
    Azizi, E ; Fielding, J ; Abel, LA (INT GROUP EYE MOVEMENT RESEARCH, 2022-01-01)
    Remediation of attentional impairments is an essential component of cognitive rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Evidence from healthy participants has demonstrated attentional improvement following playing an action video game. This exploratory study investigated its application in TBI participants in a multiple baselines single case experimental design (SCED). Saccadic eye movements, recognized as the visible indicators of visual attention, were assessed to evaluate the effectiveness of the game training. Three severe TBI participants were trained in an action game for 10 hours. Saccadic eye movements during a self-paced saccade and an abstract visual search task were investigated during baseline, mid training and post-training. Using Percentage of Non-overlapping Data (PND), analysis showed consistent increase in the rate of the self-paced saccades in participants 1 (PND=80%) and 2 (PND=70%). In abstract search, fixation duration showed a minimally effective decrease for participant 2 (PND= 60%) and a moderately effective reduction in participant 3 (PND= 80%). Search time showed a highly effective reduction in participant 2 (PND = 100%) and moderately effective decrease in participant 3 (PND=70%). Overall, video game training might modify allocation of attention in eye movements. More evidence is required to validate the usefulness of this novel method of the cognitive training.
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    Optimizing Retinal Thermofusion in Retinal Detachment Repair Achieving Instant Adhesion without Air Tamponade
    Henot, WJ ; Metha, AB ; He, Z ; Lim, JKH ; Hoang, A ; Nishimura, T ; Okada, M ; V. Bui, BV (ELSEVIER, 2022-12)
    PURPOSE: Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment repair by intraoperative sealing of the tear without a tamponade agent should enable faster restoration of vision and resumption of normal activities. It avoids the need for further surgery in the case of silicone oil endotamponade. This study evaluated the retinal thermofusion (RTF) retinopexy method of subretinal space dehydration before photocoagulation to create an instantaneous intraoperative retina reattachment in a preclinical model. DESIGN: Preclinical study. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty Dutch Belt, pigmented rabbits that underwent RTF repair after experimental retinal detachment. METHODS: This ex vivo model quantified adhesion force between the retina and underlying retinal pigment epithelium and choroid after treatment of 1 retinal edge using postmortem porcine or human retina (6 × 12 mm). We compared (1) control, (2) laser photocoagulation alone, (3) dehydration alone, and (4) dehydration followed by photocoagulation (RTF). Optimized parameters for RTF were then applied in the in vivo rabbit model of retinal detachment. Animals were followed up for 14 days. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: For this ex vivo model, we measured adhesion force and related this to tissue temperature. For the in vivo study, we assessed retinal attachment using funduscopy and histologic analysis. RESULTS: The ex vivo model showed that RTF repair produced significantly higher adhesion force than photocoagulation alone independent of dehydration method: warm (60° C) high airflow (50-70 ml/minute) or using laser wavelengths targeting water absorption peaks (1470 or 1940 nm) with coaxial low airflow (10-20 ml/minute). The latter approach produced a smaller footprint of dehydration. Application of RTF (1940-nm laser with coaxial airflow) in an in vivo retinal detachment model in rabbit eyes resulted in immediate retinal adhesion, achieving forces similar to those in the ex vivo experiments. Retinal thermofusion repair resulted in stable reattachment of the retina over the 2-week follow-up period. CONCLUSIONS: We showed that a short preliminary dehydrating laser treatment of a retinal tear margin before traditional laser photocoagulation creates an immediate intraoperative waterproof retinopexy adhesion independent of tamponade and a wound-healing response. This approach potentially will allow rapid postoperative recovery regardless of the tear location and improved vision.
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    Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in women with pregestational diabetes during pregnancy and the postpartum
    Widyaputri, F ; Rogers, SL ; Khong, EWC ; Nankervis, AJ ; Conn, JJ ; Sasongko, MB ; Shub, A ; Fagan, XJ ; Guest, D ; Symons, RCA ; Lim, LL (WILEY, 2022-09)
    BACKGROUND: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) may be affected by pregnancy. The majority of prevalence data regarding DR in pregnancy predate the advent of contemporary guidelines for diabetes management during pregnancy. This study reports DR prevalence and associated risk factors in women with pregestational diabetes during pregnancy and the postpartum in Australia. METHODS: A total of 172 pregnant women with type 1 (T1DM) or type 2 diabetes diagnosed pre-pregnancy were prospectively recruited from two obstetrics hospitals in Melbourne (November 2017-March 2020). Eye examinations were scheduled in each trimester, at 3-, 6-, and 12-months postpartum. DR severity was graded from two-field fundus photographs by an independent grader utilising the Airlie House Classification. Sight-threatening DR (STDR) was defined as the presence of diabetic macular oedema or proliferative DR. RESULTS: Overall, 146 (84.9%) women had at least one eye examination during pregnancy. The mean age was 33.8 years (range 19-51), median diabetes duration was 7.0 years (IQR 3.0-17.0), 71 women (48.6%) had T1DM. DR and STDR prevalence during pregnancy per 100 eyes was 24.3 (95% CI 19.7-29.6) and 9.0 (95% CI 6.1-12.9); while prevalence in the postpartum was 22.2 (95% CI 16.5-29.3) and 10.0 (95% CI 5.4-17.9), respectively. T1DM, longer diabetes duration, higher HbA1c in early pregnancy, and pre-existing nephropathy were significant risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of DR in pregnant women was similar to the non-pregnant diabetic population in Australia. One in nine participants had STDR during pregnancy and the postpartum, highlighting the need to optimise DR management guidelines in pregnancy given the significant risk of vision loss.
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    Is critical flicker-fusion frequency a valid measure of visual fatigue? A post-hoc analysis of a double-masked randomised controlled trial
    Singh, S ; Downie, LEE ; Anderson, AJJ (WILEY, 2022-11-23)
    PURPOSE: Critical flicker-fusion frequency (CFF) has been used in clinical studies as a measure of visual fatigue. We examine the correlation between CFF and subjective reports of visual fatigue in a group of symptomatic computer users, to consider whether CFF may be used as a surrogate measure of visual fatigue symptoms. METHODS: We analysed data from a previous randomised controlled trial. One hundred and twenty adults, diagnosed with computer vision syndrome, had CFF and visual fatigue symptoms quantified before and after a visually demanding 2-h computer task. Symptoms were assessed using a questionnaire with nine subcomponents that summed to a total score of 900. CFF was measured using a two-interval forced-choice method, with the flicker rate altered by a computer-controlled staircase procedure. For our primary analysis, we determined Spearman correlation coefficients between post-task symptom scores and CFF, and between change from baseline symptom scores and CFF. We also used a bootstrap procedure to consider whether symptom score subcomponents were significantly (Bonferroni-corrected) different from overall scores with regard to their correlations with CFF. RESULTS: Although visual fatigue symptom scores altered significantly post-task (mean change: 92 units; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 11 to 122), CFF did not (mean change -0.7 Hz; 95% CI: -1.7 to 0.3). There was no significant correlation between overall symptom scores and CFF, either for the post-task (r = -0.13; 95% CI: -0.31 to 0.05) or the change from baseline (r = -0.18; 95% CI: -0.35 to 0.01) analysis. Subcomponents of the symptom questionnaire did not show a significant correlation with CFF, either for the post-task or the change from baseline analysis. CONCLUSIONS: We find that CFF is not a useful surrogate for symptoms of visual fatigue, given its low correlation with scores on a visual fatigue symptom questionnaire.
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    Time-Frequency Analysis of ERG With Discrete Wavelet Transform and Matching Pursuits for Glaucoma.
    Sarossy, M ; Crowston, J ; Kumar, D ; Weymouth, A ; Wu, Z (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), 2022-10-03)
    PURPOSE: To examine the performance of two time-frequency feature extraction techniques applied to electroretinograms (ERGs) for the prediction of glaucoma severity. METHODS: ERGs targeting the photopic negative response were obtained in 103 eyes of 55 patients with glaucoma. Features from the ERG recordings were extracted using two time-frequency extraction techniques based on the discrete wavelet transform (DWT) and the matching pursuit (MP) decomposition. Amplitude markers of the time-domain signal were also extracted. Linear and multivariate adaptive regression spline (MARS) models were fitted using combinations of these features to predict estimated retinal ganglion cell counts, a measure of glaucoma disease severity derived from standard automated perimetry and optical coherence tomography imaging. RESULTS: Predictive models using features from the time-frequency analyses-using both DWT and MP-combined with amplitude markers outperformed predictive models using the markers alone with linear (P = 0.001) and MARS (P ≤ 0.011) models. For example, the proportions of variance (R2) explained by the MARS model using the DWT and MP features with amplitude markers were 0.53 and 0.63, respectively, compared to 0.34 for the model using the markers alone (P = 0.011 and P = 0.001, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Novel time-frequency features extracted from the photopic ERG substantially added to the prediction of glaucoma severity compared to using the time-domain amplitude markers alone. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: Substantial information about retinal ganglion cell dysfunction exists in the time-frequency domain of ERGs that could be useful in the management of glaucoma.
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    Concept Mapping to Identify Content for a Performance-Based Measure of Low Luminance Vision-Related Activities of Daily Living
    Bentley, SA ; Black, AA ; Hindmarsh, GP ; Owsley, C ; Wood, JM (ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC, 2022-09)
    PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to identify low luminance activities of daily living (ADL) relevant to adults with vision impairment using a concept-mapping approach. METHODS: "Group concept mapping" was utilized to identify specific ADLs that persons with vision impairment find challenging under low light conditions. In the first "brainstorming" phase, 24 adults with vision impairment from a range of eye conditions (mean age = 73 years, SD = 14 years) and 26 international low vision experts (mean experience = 22, SD = 11 years) generated statements to the focus prompt, "Thinking as broadly as possible, generate a list of statements detailing specific day-to-day activities a person with vision impairment might find challenging under low light conditions, such as in a poorly lit room or outside at dusk." In the second phase, participants sorted activities by similarity and rated the importance of each activity. Multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis were applied to produce concept maps showing clusters of prioritized activities. RESULTS: One hundred thirteen unique ideas/activities were generated, rated and sorted. Eight clusters were identified (from highest to lowest importance): hazard detection and safety outside; social interactions; navigation; near reading; selfcare and safety at home; distance spotting; searching around the home; and cooking and cleaning. CONCLUSIONS: The conceptual framework and low luminance ADLs identified (the most important being hazard detection and safety outside, and social interactions) provide a basis for developing a performance-based measure of low luminance visual function. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: A performance-based measure of low luminance vision-related ADLs is required for comprehensively and objectively assessing efficacy of eye treatments and low vision rehabilitation outcomes in adults with vision impairment.