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Structural and Functional Disorders in Glaucoma: the Prospects for Preclinical Diagnosis. Part 1. Is the Search for what Comes First Relevant?

V. V. Neroev, M. V. Zueva, A. N. Zhuravleva, I. V. Tsapenko
Published: 24 September 2020
Ophthalmology in Russia , Volume 17; doi:10.18008/1816-5095-2020-3-336-343

Abstract: The review analyzes the capabilities of modern technologies of structural neuroimaging of the retina, standard perimetry, and studies of ocular blood flow in the early diagnosis and management of glaucoma. The relevance of the search for those structural and functional changes that are primary in the development of glaucomatous optical neuropathy (GON) and the diagnostic method that has the greatest clinical significance is discussed. Progress in understanding the pathogenesis of glaucoma and the expansion of scientific understanding of key risk factors for the development and progression of the disease, including genetic factors, can be crucially important to substantiate new strategies for preclinical diagnosis and the development of radically new approaches to personalized and preventive glaucoma therapy. However, the search for what arises most early with in primary open-angle glaucoma — changes in structure or function — will not have clinical relevance unless you take into account the capabilities of specific methods of structural and functional neuroimaging that represent information at various levels of organization of the visual system. The search for a single primary factor in the pathogenesis of GON can lead to an erroneous exaggeration of the close relationship between the variables being studied, which in reality either does not exist as a causal relationship or is significantly less than what is supposed — the phenomenon called “illusory correlation”. The reliable diagnosis of early changes that occur before the clinical manifestation of glaucoma is most likely to be based on a combination of structural, functional, and hemodynamic indicators, aimed not only to increase the sensitivity of diagnosis in detecting the earliest events in the development of GON, but rather to dramatically improve the understanding and quality of interpretation of those markers that we own.
Keywords: development / functional / glaucoma / early diagnosis / understanding / structural / illusory correlation / Gon

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