The future challenge of USAL researchers is to develop therapeutic treatments for the recovery of eyesight lost through pathologies such as  glaucoma or cancer of the hypophysis.

The 12th of March was World Glaucoma Day, to attract attention to the pathology that comprises a group of diseases that cause progressive damage to the optic nerve and the number one cause of blindness in the world. Over 60 million people suffer from glaucoma, and its symptomology, which progresses slowly and asymptomatically, means that 50% of those that have it do not become aware of it until the deterioration of their visual field becomes so evident that they realize that they have been “robbed of their sight”.

Accordingly, the USAL scientist, Juan Manuel Lara Pradas, Chair in Cell Biology and Pathology at the Institute of Neurosciences of Castile & Leon (INCYL), is developing an interesting line of research focused on the plasticity, degeneration and regeneration of the human visual system through study of the processes of the development of this system in zebrafish, which is “capable of regenerating its optic nerve in cases of deterioration”.

The objective is to determine how and why these fish manage to do this and “to what extent it could be applied to humans”, as the researcher reported to Comunicación Universidad de Salamanca.

Lara Pradas explains that unlike fish, “we human beings have lost the regenerative capability”, and that when lesions appear on the optic nerve in an individual’s visual system, “whether caused by glaucoma or cancer of the hypophysis, for example, which put pressure on that nerve”, frequently that person can “go blind”.

More information:Comunicación Universidad de Salamanca

Posted by Juan M. Corchado

Juan Manuel Corchado (15 May 1971, Salamanca, Spain) is Professor at the University of Salamanca. He has been Vice-Rector for Research from 2013 to 2017 and Director of the Science Park of the University of Salamanca. Elected as Dean of the Faculty of Science twice, he holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Salamanca and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of the West of Scotland. He leads the renowned BISITE (Bioinformatics, Intelligent Systems and Educational Technology) Research Group, created in 2000. Director of the IoT Digital Innovation Hub and President of the AIR Institute, J. M. Corchado is also Visiting Professor at the Osaka Institute of Technology since January 2015, Visiting Professor at the Universiti Malaysia Kelantan and Member of the Advisory Group on Online Terrorist Propaganda of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (EUROPOL). J. M. Corchado has been president of the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society, and academic coordinator of the University Institute for Research in Art and Animation Technology at the University of Salamanca, as well as researcher at the Universities of Paisley (UK), Vigo (Spain) and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK). He currently combines all his activity with the direction of Master programmes in Security, Digital Animation, Mobile Telephony, Information Systems Management, Internet of Things, Social Media, 3D Design and Printing, Blockchain, Z System, Industry 4.0, Agile Project Management, and Smart Cities & Intelligent Buildings, at the University of Salamanca and his work as editor-in-chief of the journals ADCAIJ (Advances in Distributed Computing and Artificial Intelligence Journal), OJCST (Oriental Journal of Computer Science and Technology) or Electronics MDPI (Computer Science & Engineering section). J. M. Corchado mainly works on projects related to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, IoT, Fog Computing, Edge Computing, Smart Cities, Smart Grids and Sentiment Analysis. He has recently been included in the board of trustees of the AstraZeneca Foundation, along with other health professionals and researchers recognised for bringing scientific knowledge closer to society.

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