University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext 32215
Fax: (519) 746-8115
Dr. Melanie Campbell
Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Waterloo
Measurements of the optical quality of the eye have increased in precision and repeatability as a result of techniques adopted from astronomy. As a result, we can now correct the optical blur of individual eyes with adaptive optics and produce high resolution in vivo images of individual retinal cells, including cones in retinal dystrophies. We are also using this technology to explore whether the earliest ocular changes in Type I diabetes are neural or vascular. This may lead to earlier and improved interventions to prevent the damage that results from diabetes which often leads to blindness. Imaging the retina can provide a “window on the brain”, potentially enabling diagnosis of neural conditions. Currently, definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease only occurs after death. Recently we have confirmed the presence of amyloid beta, which forms plaques and which is a marker of the disease, in the ex vivo neural retina of those with the disease and not in age matched normal donors without the disease. We are developing an in vivo imaging technique which we hope will become a more accessible, less invasive and less expensive technique than others under development for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.