Retinal ganglion cell functional plasticity and optic neuropathy: A comprehensive model

Vittorio Porciatti, Lori M. Ventura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The clinical management of glaucoma and optic neuropathies has traditionally focused on stages of the diseases at which there are congruent losses of visual function and optic nerve tissue. Increasing clinical and experimental evidence suggests that the electrical activity of retinal ganglion cells, as measured by pattern electroretinogram (PERG), may be altered long before measurable changes in the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer. In addition, PERG alterations in early glaucoma may be either reversed by lowering the intraocular pressure or induced with head-down body posture. Here we apply the well-known concept of neural plasticity to model the reversible/inducible changes of retinal ganglion cell electrical activity during a critical period of dysfunction preceding death. Identification and characterization of this stage of modifiable retinal ganglion cell function represents both a rationale and a target for treatment to change the natural history of the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-358
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuro-Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Neurology


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