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    Die Hector Fellow Academy stößt innovative Forschungsprojekte in neuen wissenschaftlichen Fragestellungen an.

Accommodation Behavior and Ciliary Muscle Activity in Myopia

Sandra Wagner – Hector Fellow Eberhart Zrenner

Prevalence of myopia (shortsightedness) increases considerably in industrialized countries. The mechanisms behind this development need to be fully understood in order to attain prevention. Research has previously provided indications supporting a possible link between myopia onset and near-vision behavior. Accommodation is the process of changing the eye lens’ refractive power to adapt to different viewing distances, being initiated by the ciliary muscle. Studies found the accommodation behavior to be highly various, even among individuals of same age and refractive state.

This PhD project, supervised by Hector Fellow Eberhart Zrenner, aims to identify the reasons for the inter-individual variability of accommodation by analyzing the accommodation process with respect to the ciliary muscle activity and morphology in subjects with myopia and emmetropia. The goal is to examine (i) whether the dynamics of accommodation correlate with the ciliary muscle’s anatomy by using imaging techniques such as optical coherence tomography (see Figure), and (ii) whether the neuromuscular excitation of accommodation correlates with the ciliary muscle’s morphology. The latter will be realized by implementing a newly developed device to non-invasively measure the electrical potentials of the ciliary muscle.

Findings derived from this project are expected to allow a better understanding of accommodation, address unanswered question regarding myopia onset, and support the development of new devices.

Image of ciliary muscle (marked in red) during near accommodation in a young adult
subject using optical coherence tomography