Nystagmus research – a progress report

The Nystagmus Network is funding equipment and testing to underpin nystagmus research taking place at Cardiff University School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, in collaboration with the genetics research team at the University of Southampton.

On behalf of the Cardiff team, Nikita Thomas reports:

“Our study attempts to investigate how visual function in Idiopathic Nystagmus is related to the formation of the retina. This will improve knowledge regarding how IN is initially established and the developmental components that eventually contribute to poor visual acuity.

A better understanding of how IN develops may in turn help us interpret its main underlying cause and the likely benefits of treatment in infancy, including the timing and method(s) of potential intervention.”

Researchers are developing techniques to measure more accurately the visual acuity and peripheral vision of a person with nystagmus, taking into account eye movements and any null point. It is thought that, not only will this work revolutionise the way that sight and vision loss are measured in nystagmus patients, but it will also bring greater insight into the development of sight and the onset of nystagmus itself.