Stanford Center for Optic Disc Drusen at the Byers Eye Institute
Department of Ophthalmology
Optic disc drusen affect vision and the optic nerve - the connection between the eye and the brain. For unknown reasons, damaged optic nerve axons lead to calcium-containing deposits and abnormal mitochondria at the optic nerve head. These deposits are present in about 2% of the general population, similar to the prevalence of glaucoma, and can lead to vision loss. There is active research being done on why this causes vision loss for some, but not for others.
At the Stanford Center for Optic Disc Drusen at the Byers Eye Institute, we have a premier group of faculty dedicated to investigating visual dysfunction and optic nerve damage in optic disc drusen and related diseases, with hopes that we can protect and restore vision. These include investigators who specialize in studies of the retina, optic nerve, and brain. We also have experts in clinical trial design who can help translate our findings to novel clinical studies.
The goals of our research include: (1) better understand patients with optic disc drusen and why some people develop vision loss, (2) develop cellular and animal models of optic disc drusen and test possible treatment, and (3) learn how optic disc drusen are related to other optic neuropathies like ischemic optic neuropathy and glaucoma and how optic neuropathies affect the brain visual processing.
Y. Joyce Liao, MD, PhD
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A $10 million gift has enabled the launch of a center focusing on optic disc drusen, a poorly understood eye disease that can lead to visual impairment or even blindness.
Optic disc drusen (ODD) are calcified deposits found at the anterior optic nerve in about 2% of the general population. It affects both children and adults and can sometimes run in families.