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    Virtual reality on the horizon for treatment of glaucoma


    Virtual-reality devices not only may diagnose glaucoma, but also may treat the disease, according to researchers.

    "In virtual reality, you can harness a ton of the physiology of the human being," said Andrew D. Huberman, PhD, associate professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

    His lab is working on new devices that use visual stimuli to prompt retinal ganglion cells to regenerate, explained Dr. Huberman at the 7th annual Glaucoma 360 New Horizons Forum, hosted by the Glaucoma Research Foundation.

    Two other researchers at the session described techniques through which virtual reality might diagnose the disease more accurately than standard automated perimetry.

    In vitro studies have shown that retinal ganglion cells respond to stimulation.

    "If you stimulate axons, they grow," Dr. Huberman said.

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