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Matthew A. Reilly, Analaura Villarreal, Ted Maddess, William Eric Sponsel; Refined Frequency Doubling Perimetry Analysis Reaffirms Central Nervous System Control of Chronic Glaucomatous Neurodegeneration. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2015;4(3):7. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.4.3.7.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Refined analysis of frequency doubling perimetric data was performed to assess binocular visual field conservation in patients with comparable degrees of bilateral glaucomatous damage, to determine whether unilateral visual field loss is random, anatomically symmetric, or non-random in relation to the fellow eye.
Case control study of 41 consecutive patients with bilaterally mild to severe glaucoma; each right eye visual field locus was paired with randomly-selected co-isopteric left eye loci, performing 690,000 (10,000 complete sets of 69 loci) such iterations per subject. The potential role of anatomic symmetry in bilateral visual field conservation was also assessed by pairing mirror-image loci of the right- and left-eye fields. The mean values of the random co-isopteric and the symmetric mirror pairings were compared with natural point-for-point pairings of the two eyes by paired t-test.
Mean unilateral Matrix threshold across the entire 30-degree visual field were 17.0 dB left and 18.4 dB right (average 17.7). The better of the naturally paired concomitant loci yielded binocular equivalent mean bilateral Matrix threshold of 20.9 dB, 1.6 dB higher than the population mean of the 690,000 coisopteric pairings (t = −10.4; P < 10-12). Thus, a remarkable natural tendency for conservation of the binocular Matrix visual field was confirmed, far stronger than explicable by random chance. Symmetric pairings of precise mirror-image loci also produced values higher than random co-isopteric pairings (Δ 1.1 dB; t = −4.0; P = 0.0004).
Refined data analysis of paired Matrix visual fields confirms the existence of a natural optimization of binocular visual function in severe bilateral glaucoma via interlocking fields that could only be created by CNS involvement. The disparity of paired Matrix threshold values at mirror-image loci was also highly nonrandom and quantitatively inverse from the expected if anatomic symmetry factors were merely passively contributing systematically to the compensatory binocular Matrix effect.
The paired eyes and brain are reaffirmed to function as a unified system in the progressive age-related neurodegenerative condition chronic open angle glaucoma, maximizing the binocular visual field. Given the extensive homology of this disorder with other age-related neurodegenerations, it is reasonable to assume that the brain will similarly resist simultaneous bilateral loss of paired functional zones in both hemispheres in diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Glaucomatous eyes at all stages of the disease appear to provide a highly accessible paired-organ study model for developing therapeutics to optimize conservation of function in neurodegenerative disorders.
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