The RETICIR project focuses on neuronal mechanisms of vision from photoreceptor level to visual cortex. Physiological knowledge of the visual system will be used to address pathophysiological neuronal mechanisms of diseases affecting vision. In the project we will identify molecular and cellular disease mechanism of retinitis pigmentosa and glaucoma, and will demonstrate restoration of vision in retinas with degenerated photoreceptors from single neuronal responses in the retina all the way to cortical visual evoked responses and behavioral assays.Blindness in man often results from dysfunction of the retina. For a number of retinal diseases, the retinal circuitry is a major part of the problem. Effective strategies for treatment of those diseases and for all attempts to restore vision, understanding of the retinal circuitries is essential. Our strategy is that understanding the structure and function of specific retinal circuits should be used to find therapies to retinal diseases, like for instance retinitis pigmentosa and glaucoma. Specific circuits can be only studied with cell type specific promoters and therefore the methodology that we will use is the combination of in vivo marked cell types with genetic interference with the function of these cells and state of the art physiological and behavioral approaches.
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