• The intraocular pressure (IOP) in humans approximately doubles when a head-down, or inverted, position is assumed. Simultaneously, the ophthalmic artery pressure increases by an even greater absolute magnitude. We recorded pattern reversal visual evoked potentials (PRVEPs) in 16 subjects in both the inverted and upright positions. In ten of the 16 subjects, we performed an additional experiment. On a different day, we obtained control PRVEPs, and then, using a scleral suction cup, we artificially increased the IOPs to the same values reached when the subjects were previously inverted. We found that the PRVEP amplitudes were significantly reduced in both experiments compared with corresponding control recordings, without changes in latency or wave form. Furthermore, the degree of amplitude reduction was even greater during gravity inversion than with suction cup elevation of IOP. The effects of IOP on optic nerve function as measured by the PRVEP appear to be dependent more on the IOP than on vascular perfusion. We also concluded that gravity inversion activities pose potential risks to the eyes.
Friberg TR, Sanborn G. Optic Nerve Dysfunction During Gravity Inversion Pattern Reversal Visual Evoked Potentials. Arch Ophthalmol. 1985;103(11):1687-1689. doi:10.1001/archopht.1985.01050110081030