A major goal of research on the visual system is to understand processes that promote repair and regeneration of central visual connections following disease or trauma. A number of distinct clinical conditions lead to the destruction or degeneration of retinal ganglion cells that, in turn, can result in permanent blindness. Among the major causes of ganglion cell loss are glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, demyelinating diseases, tumors, optic neuropathy, ischemia, and traumatic injury. It is first desirable to prevent or retard the progress of neuronal injury and death in these diseases, but once connections to central visual targets are lost, the only way to restore sight is to promote the regeneration of ganglion cell connections. Recent advances have shown that this is an area of great promise for future treatment. It had long been thought that the regeneration of optic projections was not possible in the central nervous system (CNS), but findings
Shatz CJ, O'Leary DDM. Repair and Replacement to Restore Sight: Report From the Panel on Ganglion Cell/Connectivity. Arch Ophthalmol. 1993;111(4):472–477. doi:10.1001/archopht.1993.01090040064031
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