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Neuroplasticity and amblyopia: vision at the balance point

Tailor, VK; Schwarzkopf, DS; Dahlmann-Noor, AH; (2017) Neuroplasticity and amblyopia: vision at the balance point. Current Opinion in Neurology , 30 (1) pp. 74-83. 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000413. Green open access

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Abstract

Purpose of review: New insights into triggers and brakes of plasticity in the visual system are being translated into new treatment approaches which may improve outcomes not only in children, but also in adults. / Recent findings: Visual experience-driven plasticity is greatest in early childhood, triggered by maturation of inhibitory interneurons which facilitate strengthening of synchronous synaptic connections, and inactivation of others. Normal binocular development leads to progressive refinement of monocular visual acuity, stereoacuity and fusion of images from both eyes. At the end of the ‘critical period’, structural and functional brakes such as dampening of acetylcholine receptor signalling and formation of perineuronal nets limit further synaptic remodelling. Imbalanced visual input from the two eyes can lead to imbalanced neural processing and permanent visual deficits, the commonest of which is amblyopia. / Summary: The efficacy of new behavioural, physical and pharmacological interventions aiming to balance visual input and visual processing have been described in humans, and some are currently under evaluation in randomised controlled trials. Outcomes may change amblyopia treatment for children and adults, but the safety of new approaches will need careful monitoring, as permanent adverse events may occur when plasticity is re-induced after the end of the critical period.

Type: Article
Title: Neuroplasticity and amblyopia: vision at the balance point
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000413
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/WCO.0000000000000413
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: amblyopia, neuronal plasticity, suppression, visual perception
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10044715
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