UTSA COS Summer Research Experience for 2013
Animal Model of Indirect Traumatic Optic Neuropathy
Indirect traumatic optic neuropathy affects about 5% of all patients suffering head trauma. The eye itself is unharmed but the patient loses vision due to injury of the optic nerve, just as a video camera may function but is useless without some way to transfer data to a screen. Recent reviews have shown that the current treatment (megadose steroids) is ineffective and may do more harm than good (Sarkies, Eye 2004). No other treatments are currently under development because no model for this condition exists. We have constructed a robotic device based on recent insights into the mechanism of the injury; this robot will be used to inflict indirect traumatic neuropathy in laboratory rats, thereby enabling the development of new treatments for humans.