1932

Abstract

Our sense of sight relies on photoreceptors, which transduce photons into the nervous system's electrochemical interpretation of the visual world. These precious photoreceptors can be disrupted by disease, injury, and aging. Once photoreceptors start to die, but before blindness occurs, the remaining retinal circuitry can withstand, mask, or exacerbate the photoreceptor deficit and potentially be receptive to newfound therapies for vision restoration. To maximize the retina's receptivity to therapy, one must understand the conditions that influence the state of the remaining retina. In this review, we provide an overview of the retina's structure and function in health and disease. We analyze a collection of observations on photoreceptor disruption and generate a predictive model to identify parameters that influence the retina's response. Finally, we speculate on whether the retina, with its remarkable capacity to function over light levels spanning nine orders of magnitude, uses these same adaptational mechanisms to withstand and perhaps mask photoreceptor loss.

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2021-09-15
2024-06-13
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