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Arthur J. Weber, Christine D. Harman; BDNF Treatment and Extended Recovery From Optic Nerve Trauma in the Cat. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(10):6594-6604. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.13-12683.
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We examined the treatment period necessary to restore retinal and visual stability following trauma to the optic nerve.
Cats received unilateral optic nerve crush and no treatment (NT), treatment of the injured eye with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), or treatment of the injured eye combined with treatment of visual cortex for 2 or 4 weeks. After 1-, 2-, 4-, or 6-week survival periods, pattern electroretinograms (PERGs) were obtained and retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival determined.
In the peripheral retina, RGC survival for NT, eye only, and eye + cortex animals was 55%, 78%, and 92%, respectively, at 1 week, and 31%, 60%, and 93%, respectively, at 2 weeks. PERGs showed a similar pattern of improvement. After 4 weeks, RGC survival was 7%, 29%, and 53% in each group, with PERGs in the dual-treated animals similar to the 1- to 2-week animals. For area centralis (AC), the NT, eye only, and eye + cortex animals showed 47%, 78%, and 82% survival, respectively, at 2 weeks, and 13%, 54%, and 81% survival, respectively, at 4 weeks. Removing the pumps at 2 weeks resulted in ganglion cell survival levels of 76% and 74% in the AC at 4 and 6 weeks postcrush, respectively. The PERGs from 2-week treated, but 4- and 6-week survival animals were comparable to those of the 2-week animals.
Treating the entire central visual pathway is important following optic nerve trauma. Long-term preservation of central vision may be achieved with as little as 2 weeks of treatment using this approach.
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