The Eye and Eye Diseases. STATS
19 SEM 2. 263057202. Talk 7.
A.L. Yuille.
Dept. Statistics.
Neural Prostheses.
• Forms of Neural Prostheses already used.
(Simpler than last week). CNN story.
• Brain messages transmitted to nerve ends
on pectoral muscles of the chest.
• Thoughts cause chest muscles to contract,
activate prosthetic arm.
Mike May’s and Others
• Project Prakash (light). Pawan Sinha (MIT).
• Sinha studies how children’s brain adapt to years
of blindness followed by sight.
Studies in India. Children have cataract surgery.
Sinha “Merely treating the eyes is not enough.
No one knows if the visual modality will reclaim
areas in the brain that it lost to other senses
during blindness”.
Some patients commit suicide after recovered
Mike Mays and Others
• India has the world’s largest population of
blind children. 100,000 children.
• 20% have Cataracts, which can be
• Poverty, inter-marriage to blind relatives,
Mike May and Others.
• Mondloch (McMaster).
• Children with cataracts in the left-eye, can
recognize faces after surgery.
• Children with cataracts in the right-eye,
• But probably too late if surgery happens 2
months after birth.
• Brain imaging (FMRI) show that neural areas in
the brain devoted to vision can perform different
functions for the blind.
Vision area – Touch area.
Increased activity in the Visual Cortex when
blind subjects “read” by using Braille.
Areas of the Visual Cortex get activated when
blind patients remember words and do other
verbal memory tasks. (Normal subjects use
language areas).
The Big Three Eye Diseases.
• Cataracts
• Glaucoma
• Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
The Eye
• Anatomy
The Eye
• Imaging and the Lens.
The Eye
• Photoreceptors: Rods
and Cones.
The Eye
• Where things go wrong:
• (I) The Lens (focuses light).
• Lens structure can change. (Cell growth, protein
changes). Cataracts.
(II) Eye contains fluids. The pressure of the fluid
can get high (insufficient drainage). This affects
nerve cells. Glaucoma.
(III) Retina failure. Age-Related Macular
• With age, the Lens enlarges and the
protein structure changes (e.g. lens can
go yellow). Most people over 65 have
some cataracts.
• Symptoms: Poor distance vision, blurred
vision, frequent prescription changes, poor
night vision, glare, halo around lights,
double vision.
• The Lens.
• Risk Factors:
• Age, Diabetes, Women/Men, Race,
Developing countries near the Tropics,
Hereditary, Smoking, Some Medications,
Excessive sunlight.
• Second sight: vision appears to get better,
but then gets far worse.
• Surgery is Effective. (These days).
• Glass is well-tolerated by the Eye (2nd
World War).
• Remove parts of Lens (by Microsurgery).
• Implant plastic.
• Outpatient: go home the same day.
• Glaucoma “silent thief of vision”.
• Very difficult to detect. Accounts for 12%
new blind cases in the US each year.
• Start by gradually losing peripheral vision.
This causes irreversible damage.
• Regular Eye exams. Diagnose pressure in
the eyes.
• Glaucoma is a collection of different eye
All raise the pressure of liquid inside the eye.
The Eye is basically hollow, like a balloon. It
contains fluid that helps keep its shape.
New fluid comes in, old fluid is drained out.
But sometimes the drain gets blocked – raises
fluid pressure, damages the optic nerve
(irreversible). Glaucoma.
• Draining.
• Recall, the image is formed by the Rods and
Cones on the retina.
These send nerve impulses to the brain via the
Optic Nerve. The Optic Nerve starts at the Optic
High fluid pressure in the Eye damages the Optic
Disk. Exact mechanism is unknown.
Peripheral vision is often lost before patients are
aware of it.
• Optic Nerve.
• Treatment.
• Lower the fluid pressure.
• Eye drops, drugs, lasers, surgery.
• Risk factors: Age, Hereditary, Race
(African Americans).
Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
• Least understood.
• Ageing of the outermost layer of the
• Progressive degenerate changes in the
epithelium cells, photoreceptors (rods and
• Major cause of blindness in US, England,
Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
• Cells on retina.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
• Risk Factors.
• Women/Men, Heredity, Blue eyes –
particularly Caucasians, smoking, high
blood pressure, sunlight.
• Treatment is limited. Some forms respond
to lasers, surgery,…
General Health Care.
• Diabetes – major cause of blindness
among working people in US.
• Increases risk for Cataracts and Glaucoma.
But also damages the retina directly.
• Main risk factor for Diabetes – high blood
General Health
• High-Blood Pressure (Hypertension). Damages
the blood arteries in the retina.
• AIDS/HIV. Affects the immune system.
Microorganisms CMV (Cytomegalovirus).
• CMV attacks the retina of about 30% people
with AIDS. Destroys tissue, causes bleeding,
retinal detachment.
Alan Scott and Botox
• Botox was developed by an Eye Surgeon –
Alan Scott.
• It is used to relax eye muscles and allow
eyes to track objects.
• He sold the idea to a company for
development. Later, the company realized
that Botox could be used for cosmetics.
Traditional Low-Vision Devices.
• Low tech.
• Hand-held magnifiers.
• Telescopes.
• Review of the Eye.
• Three Major Eye Diseases: Cataracts,
Glaucoma, Age-Related Macular
• First two treatable, if Glaucoma detected
early enough.
• Major advances in treatment.

FIAT 7. The Eye and Eye Diseases.