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On Nov. 24 – 26, 2017 in Berlin, Germany the 4th international symposium “Low vision and the brain” took place. The event went under the brand name “4r-vision” and it had a big success.

4r-vision was a unique event as it addressed the eye-brain interaction in an interdisciplinary manner. It touched the fields of ophthalmology, neurology, neuropsychology, rehabilitation medicine, engineering, pharmacology and technology. 4r-vision presented next steps to brighten the light at the end of the tunnel of blindness, highlighting innovative methods that might provide more wiggle room to reduce or prevent vision loss and improve it. The conference was an interdisciplinary hub for exchanging scientific advances, innovation and ideas for commercialization, to tackle this major unsolved problem in medicine. Website of the conference: http://www.4r-vision.com/

Bernhard Sabel has presented an introduction lecture to conference 4r-vision on the topic of „Low Vision and the brain“. He gave an overview of the topic of vision loss after damage to the retina, optic nerve or brain. Such neurodegenerations are considered irreversible. The retina, optic nerve and visual cortex present very particular challenges in clinical management as so many patients are left with permanent visual loss as a result of late presentation or a lack of universally effective treatments. But progress in science and technology gives rise towards a more optimistic future of prevention, compensation and even improvement / restoration of low vision. These advances impact different visual system diseases affecting the nervous system, including typical “eye diseases” such as glaucoma, optic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and amblyopia. But low vision is also found in neurological diseases of the brain´s visual system including stroke and trauma, normal aging, dementia, PCA, Huntington´s, Parkinson´s and other diseases.

Sabel explained next steps to brighten the light at the end of the tunnel of blindness, highlighting innovative methods that might provide more wiggle room to reduce or prevent vision loss and improve patients care.

Watch the Video from the conference: